Think of your New Year’s resolution as a goal. The best goals are S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. So, if you make your resolution “to lose weight,” you can see you’re already destined to fail.
Instead, you want to be specific and say, “I want to lose 10 pounds” or 20 pounds or whatever. Maybe you want to lose a certain number of inches, take your Body Mass Index down to the ideal percentage, or reach your ideal clothing size.
Whatever it is, give it a number that you can track and measure. Don’t choose something that is unrealistic. Aim for the recommended BMI for your height and age, or a past weight when you looked healthier.
Lastly, make it timely by setting a reasonable deadline. Losing 1-2 pounds per week is a realistic goal, for example.
Now, To Stick To Your New Year’s Resolution…
- Plan out all meals and snacks week-by-week and write it down. You are less likely to cheat or fall off the wagon if you are bound by a schedule.
- While you’re at it, schedule in time for exercise every single day. Three days a week, strive for an hour of rigorous activity – be it swimming, cycling, running, or a cardio class. On your “off” days, walk briskly for at least 20 minutes.
- Find a friend or family member who has the same goal and work at it together.
- Try changing one bad habit at a time – like adding a vegetable to your lunch and a fruit to your breakfast, or designating one day a week for fish, or switching to whole grains instead of white bread and pasta.
- Commit to drinking no less than 8 glasses of water each day. Add lemon.
- Try to eat a rainbow of different colored fruits and vegetables each day.
- Look for low-fat and low-calorie versions of your favorite foods.
- Aim for lean protein – like salmon or boneless skinless chicken, for example.
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