With New Years comes New Year’s resolutions! Every year we all tend to make New Year’s resolutions with the best intentions of keeping them! However, by February many of us have tossed our New Year’s resolution to the side. To help you keep your resolution this year, I am going to discuss some ways to stay on track. Weight loss or healthier eating is a top pick for New Year’s resolutions. Therefore, the following points are aimed towards weight loss and healthier eating, but could be implemented for other types of resolutions as well. The first thing you need to do is plan ahead. When we plan ahead we can see ourselves following thru and we will be more successful. If your goal is healthier eating or weight loss, you should know today what you are eating throughout the day tomorrow and you should have those items on hand. If you wait until you are hungry to decide what to eat, chances are you will not make the most appropriate choices. Planning ahead is crucial!

Keep track of yourself! There are lots of ways to do this. I recommend journaling everything you eat and drink plus your activity for at least 3 months. This can be journaling in an actual journal or using the many different options available to you in the world of technology. There are many different gadgets and apps available that can keep track of what you are eating and exercising as well as other things like your heart rate and even how you are sleeping. I know it can be difficult to get into the habit of journaling or logging your information into a device but after 3 months it will become second nature and it helps you stay accountable!

Make short-term and long-term goals. I always recommend to people to make a goal for the week each week and also a goal for 3 months, 6 months and even a year from now. Having a goal each week gives you something to strive for that you can accomplish in the short term while you are working on your long-term goal. This will help you stay motivated as you see progress on a weekly basis. However, do not beat yourself up if you don’t reach a short-term goal. Reassess your goal and make sure that it was a reachable and achievable goal for the week. One way to do this is to make sure that you set a S.M.A.R.T. goal. This is a goal that is Specific (so you know exactly what you want to do), Measureable (for example, I will exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes), Achievable (you don’t want to set yourself up for failure by setting goals that are not achievable), Realistic (make sure it is something you can actually do), Time-oriented (set a realistic time frame for your goal). Reward yourself when you hit goals! However, if your goal is food-oriented it is best to have a non-food reward when you hit milestones. This could be something like a new exercise outfit, taking time to read a book or taking the afternoon off to enjoy some time with a friend. If you are finding you are not hitting your goals, re-assess your plans and determine if there are barriers in your way that you need to address.

Another great way to stay on track is to find a friend who has the same goals as you and motivate each other! Keep in mind that if you do fall off track that tomorrow is always a new day with a clean slate to start over. I wish you a wonderful New Year’s and best of luck with your New Year’s resolutions!