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Tips for making and keeping New Year's resolutions

December 31, 2013

New Year's resolutions are a great way for us to reevaluate ourselves and decide where there is room for improvement in our lives.

So when you ring in this New Year, make resolutions that will count! Make them positive, make them real, and stick to it! 

Here are a ten tips to make this year a successful one:

1. Be realistic 

Make sure the goals you set are not only attainable, but healthy too. When it comes to weight loss, goals should be based on losing no more than 1-2 pounds per week. 

2. Write it down 

Post a reminder of your resolution somewhere you can see it and constantly remind you of the goals you have set.

3. Be specific 

Put a number to your goals so you know what you are striving for. Decide the number of times per day, week, or month you plan to work on achieving your goal. Remember that life happens and keep tip #1 in mind!

4. Progress report 

Make sure to plan out times throughout the year to check on your progress and see if your plan needs adjustments. For a weekly goals, check yourself every three months. For monthly goals, check your progress at six months. 

5. Ask others for help 

Having someone join you in making a change can make it seem easier. They hold you accountable and provide a support system. Make sure to choose someone that is also motivated so they can help encourage you on your hard days.

6. No quick fixes 

Don't use quick fixes like fad diets or diet pills to meet your goals. You owe it to yourself to lose weight healthfully and make changes in your lifestyle that will be lasting. Try to focus on behaviors around eating or exercise that you want to change for good. Changing these behaviors will not only help you lose weight, but will make it easier to keep it off long-term.

7. Vary your routine 

Whether it is diet or exercise, focus on variety. Don't set yourself up for failure by choosing a restrictive diet. Give yourself options and maximize the nutrient benefits of eating a varied diet. With exercise, don't do the same exercises every day. Make sure to mix it up and work out your whole body. Changing it up will keep you motivated and will not allow boredom to get in the way of reaching your goals.

8. Take charge of your environment 

Surround yourself with people, places, and things that will foster the changes you are seeking. Avoid tempting situations whenever possible. . However, develop strategies ahead of time to handle these situations, as they will likely arise at one point or another. 

9. Seek out an expert 

Whether it is changing your diet, your exercise regimen, or both, ask an expert for help. Not only will you have that extra support of a Registered Dietitian or Personal Trainer, but they can also make sure you are making the necessary changes to be successful and lose weight safely.

10. Reward yourself 

When making diet changes, it is not recommended to reward yourself with food. That being said, you definitely deserve a reward for being successful. Treat yourself to a new book, a night out, or a new outfit when you have met your progress goals. It can help to have some of these rewards in mind when you set your goals at the start. They can provide motivation for sticking to the plan and keeping you going!

For more tips from the College, check out the College of Health and Human Sciences board on Pinterest.