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10 Practical Ways to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

The New Year is a great time to consider your health and how you can improve it. Many times people create New Year’s resolutions around diet and exercise programs they hope to implement. The challenge comes when it’s time to execute the changes into your day-to-day life. Here are ten practical ways to keep your New Year’s resolution and meet your diet and weight loss goals.

1. Take it one small step at a time

Trying to implement a really strict diet or crazy workout schedule right away is probably not sustainable. If you normally eat whatever you want, going strictly Paleo may be too hard to start out. Small changes add up to big success. Focus on one small area at a time. For instance, running three miles a day is a great goal, but start out running one mile for a few weeks, and work your way up to three.

2. Stay accountable with a partner

Having an accountability partner can be monumental in keeping your resolutions. If you are the only one in your household on a diet, you may find the temptation to be too great. An accountability partner will also encourage you and keep you honest. It doesn’t have to be a local friend or family member. A partner through an app or social media platform would also be beneficial.

3. Be kind to yourself

You aren't going to transform overnight into the size or shape you want to be. The goal is long term. Be easy on yourself as you work at taking baby steps towards meeting your big goal.

4. Try something new

Diets can be bland and boring, but they can also be fun and exciting. Try new foods you’ve never tried before. Experiment with new recipes to change things up. The same holds true for working out. If you walk on the treadmill every time you go to the gym, that may get old. But if you try an exercise class, or a new piece of equipment, you will keep it exciting.

5. Create a schedule you can stick with

Getting in good physical shape takes time and consistent effort. Build yourself a schedule you can stick with for the long haul. Going to the gym for two hours every day is probably not doable. But going every other day, three days a week may be something you can do on a consistently.

6. Plan ahead

Planning ahead is a valuable lesson for every aspect of life. When it comes to diet and exercise, it is essential. If going out to eat is a big part of your life, then browse the menu for healthier options and do your research before you go. Pack lunches instead of take-out, and have healthy food on hand so you don’t cheat simply because you were starving and had nothing ready.

7. Don't quit because you aren't seeing results fast enough

Good things take time to take shape. Results vary based on body type, metabolism, gender, age, etc. Just because you aren’t losing weight as quickly as you would like, doesn’t mean you aren’t changing. Building muscle and losing inches takes time. It will not happen overnight.

8. Take before and after pictures

Before and after pictures are a great way to visually see the changes taking place. Sometimes small changes are not visible when you are looking at yourself in the mirror daily. But when you can see where you were, and where you are now, it can be a big moral boost and motivator to keep going.

9. Make it a habit

It takes twenty one days of repetition for something to become a habit. Making good eating choices and exercising can become habitual if you stick with it on a consistent basis. Planning out your week and keeping a fairly predictable schedule will really help with this.

10. Rewards

Just like in parenting where you have rewards for good behavior, creating a healthier you can be build in a reward to treat yourself. Have rewards chosen, like a new pair of shoes, a two piece swimsuit, or even a fun weekend trip, if you stick to your plan. If you fail in your attempt and eat a cupcake or don't get to the gym, realize setbacks are inevitable. But rededicate yourself anew after this setback and realize it's not the end of your forward progress.

Being fit takes a lifetime of mastery and small stumbles along the way can be overcome with the right mindset! Don't go in thinking you can completely change your poor habits in one week. Take the time to do it right by making good consistent choices and mapping out your plan of success. You can change the way you look and feel by making small changes every single day.