By Jennifer Fox Williams, MPH
After months of holiday indulgence and celebration, the New Year often marks a turning point, as we try to shift back to healthier habits. A quick web search of “New Years Resolutions” leads to countless articles about how to lose weight and how to stick with diet and exercise plans.
New Years Resolutions are made with the best intentions; however, despite our efforts, are resolutions are often broken over time. Only 8% of people stick to their resolutions for the entire year, with 54% of people giving up in the first 6 months. New Years Resolution Statistics
The good news is that 45% of people make resolutions, and those who make resolutions are much more likely to meet their goals.
Lofty goals like “Lose 20 pounds” are likely to fail, according to research.
If you want to be successful in your weight loss goals:
1. Break your goal into small manageable steps. Small goals that can be measured each day are more attainable than lofty weight loss goals for the year. Weight tends to come off quickly at first and then plateau, which can lead to frustration and giving up. Rather than “Lose 20 Pounds,” break your goal into measurable tasks that will contribute to weight loss.
Some ideas of measurable goals that will contribute to weight loss:
- Walk 30 minutes each day
- Drink 8 glasses of water per day
- Cut back on soda, ideally to no soda
- Eat less fast food (put a number on this based on how often you currently eat fast food. For example, if you currently eat fast food 4 times a week, set a goal of only once a week)
- Eat 5-7 vegetable servings per day (Eating more vegetables will fill you up, provide you with nutrients and help you eat less unhealthy food)
2. Start with one goal. Once you have measured success with one goal, you can add to your list of goals to measure.
3. Tell other people, create a group with similar goals. Talk or meet each day to discuss progress. Or publish your goals on social media. Letting others know about your goals, encourages accountability.
4. Document progress in the form of a chart or a journal. Another great way to track and document your progress is to use an application (app).
5. Reward yourself for progress. Set daily and weekly goals and reward yourself when you reach them. Buy yourself new workout clothes, or set aside time for yourself as a treat for your hard work.
For more ideas about how to succeed with your resolutions this year, check out the following articles:
Happy **and HEALTHY** New Year!