With the New Year just around the corner, a lot of us are probably thinking of our weight-loss goals for 2012. I don’t know about you, but this caveman has made his share of weight-loss resolutions. Typically, I’ll hit the gym for a few weeks, eat right for a bit, and slowly but surely slip back into my old routine. By December I keep thinking that next year will be different. So, the question is, how do you make this year different? How do you stick with your resolutions? With this in mind, here are a couple of tried-and-true tips to help maintain your diet and exercise goals for the New Year:
- Write things down
Think about it, when you go to the grocery store, you don’t go empty handed. You have a grocery list. When you need to keep track of your errands for the day, you jot down a quick to-do list. Similarly, when you go on a diet, you should write things down to stay on track. Studies show that keeping a food diary will double your weight loss. The simple routine of writing things down will help you keep track of what you’re eating and help you stay on target in terms of your goals.
- Set short-term goals
Avoid making open-ended goals like “I’m going to lose weight this year” or “this year I’m going to exercise more.” Setting a vague goal won’t help you out when it comes to achieving said goal and you might fall into the “I’ll start my diet tomorrow” trap. Instead, try setting short-term goals like “by the end of February, I will jog a mile a day.” Having a more distinct timeline will help you stick with it.
- Set realistic goals and reward yourself for completing them
Nothing will get you more downtrodden or defeated than setting a goal you can never meet. While losing 5 pounds a week sounds like a good idea (actually that would be really unhealthy), it is also unrealistic. In reality, a diet should only lead you to lose around two pounds a week; any more of that isn’t good for your body. Also, when you make your goals (like losing your first 10 pounds), be sure to reward yourself. Five pounds could mean going out and buying something special or treating yourself to a slice of your favorite cake, while bigger goals could mean rewarding yourself with a special weekend away. Think of your rewards before you start your diet so that you know what you have to look forward to when you meet your goals.
With these tips up your sleeve, there’s no reason to wait when it comes to melting off those extra holiday pounds. Good luck with your resolutions and have a Happy New Year!