With the year quickly coming to a close, you’ve probably got your list of New Year’s resolutions all set and ready for launch come January 1st. This is going to be the year, right? It seems that by the third week in January every year those New Year’s resolutions seem to fly right out the window. If you actually want to keep them this year, you’ve got to do things differently. Shake it up! Follow this advice to be successful at common New Year’s resolutions that often end up in failure.
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Losing weight is probably the most common New Year’s resolution, but usually that gym membership you purchased to burn off those holiday pounds ends up gathering dust quickly into the New Year. If you’re serious about losing weight this year, you need a plan. Don’t simply just say you’re going to lose weight, sit down and formulate a plan. Write your plan somewhere very visible in your house so you see it every day and feel guilty if you break it. Make your weight loss plan very specific, like going to the gym from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
To keep yourself motivated, get some new music. Download music that is up-tempo and fast to keep you energized while you’re in the gym. Make a playlist for each day of the week you’re in the gym, so you don’t get tired with the music you have. Consider spending some extra holiday cash on some personal training sessions, so you’ll be able to hit your weight loss goals even more quickly and have some human motivation. Follow these tips and within a few weeks you’ll hit a rhythm at the gym, and will feel weird when you don’t exercise.
Quitting smoking is another common New Year’s resolution that can start off so well, yet quickly erase any progress made. All it takes is one cigarette to erase weeks worth of progress, so if you choose to quit smoking in the New Year you need to be absolutely sure you’re ready (and you should be ready).
If you decide to quit cold turkey, know that the first few weeks will be rough. To keep yourself motivated, tape $5 bills to the cabinets in your kitchen for every time you would’ve bought a pack. For example, if you smoke a pack a day, tape $5 to the cabinet every morning. You’ll see how much money you’re saving. Once you’ve reached a predetermined number, buy yourself something nice. If you slip and buy a pack, take that money and give it away.
One way to keep yourself motivated to quit smoking is to take an index card and write down all the reasons you want to quit. It could be “for your health” “for your kids” or “for your parents”. Take this card and stick it in your wallet, and every time you have the urge to buy a pack or have a cigarette look it over. You’ll be reminded of why you want to quit, and it will help you bypass the cigarette.
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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