" data-orig-src="http://blog.forthefit.com/wp-content/uploads/happy-new-year-1063797_1280-1024x597.jpg" alt="Happy New Year" width="607" height="354" /> As 2016 rolls around, our thoughts inevitably turn to how we can make this year better than the last. For many of us, this means setting ourselves challenges to improve in the coming year, whether in our personal or professional lives, or both. But just how can we make sure that we keep going with our resolutions past the first week of January? That’s exactly why I’ve written this article. Add a healthy dose of willpower and a sprinkling of inspiration to these tips, and you should find yourself capable of maintaining your resolutions until 2017 and beyond.
" data-orig-src="http://blog.forthefit.com/wp-content/uploads/time-371226_1920-150x150.jpg" alt="Never too late to start" width="150" height="150" />It’s never too late!
The key with resolutions is to get going when inspiration and motivation strikes which isn’t necessarily on January 1, when you’re feeling hungover and will likely be glued to the sofa all day while eating party leftovers. So if you aren’t ready to start your resolutions until a week into the New Year, then I say more power to you! Making positive changes to your lifestyle is always a good idea, so if you’ve been inspired by friends and family who have taken up resolutions already, then feel free to follow suit – at a time that suits you.
How to make your resolutions stick
- Set goals. Rather than simply saying “I’m going to lose weight this year”, decide upon an actual target that you can work towards. Maybe you’ll want to lose a set amount each month, or you want to reach a target weight by a certain date. However you want to do it, setting a tangible goal can help your motivation and morale enormously.
- Don’t go overboard. You might want to lose 100 pounds by the summer, but realistically that probably isn’t going to happen (and it’s unhealthy to lose weight too quickly). Only set goals that you can achieve, and preferably only set one goal at a time – quitting smoking while also losing weight and saving half of your earnings every month might sound like a good idea on paper, but taking on too much is a recipe for disaster.
- Be kind to yourself. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you snap and eat half a chocolate cake for breakfast. We’re all only human, and it’s silly to expect that there won’t be any stumbling blocks when taking up new habits. The key is to get back on the horse, so to speak. Treat your new resolutions as a marathon, not a sprint, and don’t beat yourself up if you fall a little behind at any point.
Need some ideas for this year’s resolutions?
If you’re still stuck on what you should do to improve your life this year, fear not – I’ve put together a handy list of resolutions that vary in difficulty so that you can choose something that suits " data-orig-src="http://blog.forthefit.com/wp-content/uploads/aron-920236_1280-300x197.jpg" alt="Make someone smile" width="300" height="197" />your lifestyle and motivation levels.
- Make at least one person smile every day. This could be by something simple as telling a joke, to buying your other half a dozen red roses. Every ounce of energy you put into making others happy will make you ten times happier than them, trust me!
- Quit smoking. The more that we learn about the harmful effects of smoking, the more we should be motivated to quit. But as smoking is addictive, it can be all too easy to put off your stop date. Let this be an official reminder to you if you’re a smoker – just do it. You’ll find plenty of resources and information to help you on your way to a smoke-free lifestyle on the Smoke Free website.
- Get in shape. I know, I know, it’s a cliché – but with weight loss and exercise topping the New Year’s resolution charts, it makes sense to mention it here. In fact, I think it’s so important to look after our bodies that I’m going to throw some tips at you below…
Getting into shape for 2016
- G" data-orig-src="http://blog.forthefit.com/wp-content/uploads/APFW15BZTL-4T-250x300.png" alt="ForTheFit.com Athletic Pants" width="188" height="226" />o slow. When I say ‘get into shape’, I don’t mean that I’m expecting you all to show off washboard abs come summertime. You can incorporate some healthy habits into your routine a little at a time and still see some results. In fact, going slowly and treating the new habits as a change to your lifestyle, rather than a quick fix, is actually likely to be more effective if you want your results to last.
- Be comfortable. Make sure that your workout attire fits properly so that you can concentrate on exercising rather than rolling up your pants or adjusting your tee-shirt every few minutes. Our athletic pants, tailored for both taller and shorter guys, will allow for a perfect fit no matter what your size.
- Choose a sport you love. Loved squash in school? Get yourself a racquet and a buddy to play with. Miss swimming? Find a local gym with a pool. Or perhaps you’d like to try something completely new, like salsa dancing with your other half. The more you enjoy the activity you’re about to take up, the more likely it is that you’ll stick to it.
- Incorporate micro-exercises into your day. You’ve heard all of this before, but it bears repeating – take the stairs instead of the lift; get off the bus a stop early; park at the far end of the parking lot. Whenever you have the opportunity, add in some activity to your day. Added up, these small actions can equate to a decent amount of activity every day, and once they become a habit you won’t even notice the effort.
I hope that these tips have proved helpful! Perhaps the most important tip is to be realistic with yourself – if you set yourself up to fail with a goal that you’ll struggle to achieve, then you may even go backwards due to lack of morale. Plus, if you achieve your goal more quickly than anticipated, you’ll feel motivated to set yourself a new goal, and continue to improve! Are you making New Year’s resolutions this year? Let me know what they are in the comments!