It’s that time of year again where overindulging on food and drink for weeks is followed by the resolution to be perfect come January 1st. Unfortunately, willpower alone isn’t going to get you there. Fun fact: every year, the number one New Year’s Resolution is always – always! – the same: lose weight. Sobering fact: most Americans will have given up on their New Year’s Resolution by January 10th.
That’s why I definitely don’t want you to celebrate 2014 by resolving to “get slender”. Instead, resolve to “get sneaky“. That means find lots of little ways to continually nudge yourself in the healthier direction. Slender – or better still, fit – will follow. But only if you greet 2014 with a plan and not just a resolution.
So here are 7 sneaky tips I fall back on every January to greet every new year feeling better than ever:
1. Break it down: If you are resolving to lose weight this year, and it’s a big number, like 100lbs, make sure and set mini-goals along the way so you don’t burn out. I and some of my most successful clients have celebrated at the every 10lbs mark. At a healthy pace, this should happen about every 6 weeks, which is just enough time to stay motivated.
2. Bring an apple to your teacher: If you decide to take group exercise classes, be sure to make friends with the teacher as soon as possible. The friendlier you are, the more personal attention he/she will give you, and the less likely you will be to stop going. Their advice could be just as valuable as a personal trainer’s for a tenth of the cost.
3. Take advantage of trials: Most gyms let you try them out for a few days to a week. Do as many trials as you can. Making sure you enjoy the environment and clientele of your gym is essential. It must be a place that you look forward to visiting. Be willing to pay a little more for perks that will keep you going back, but don’t break your bank on the fanciest gym in town. Chances are there is something in the mid-range that is just as nice for an affordable price.
4. Keep “new” in the year: Variety is the best way to stay on track with exercise. Plan for variety from the beginning, rather than doing one thing every day until you hate it and stop. If you have variety all along, nothing will get boring or tedious.
5. Ditch the sweats: You need to feel comfortable when you exercise, but you also need to feel proud. Old, torn up t-shirts and baggie sweats don’t do much for your self-esteem. Allow yourself to buy some new workout gear about once per month. That way, you have something to look forward to that will hopefully keep exercise at the top of your priorities list.
6. Go with gadgets: Did you get a bunch of Amazon gift cards this holiday season? Great. Use them to invest in a cool activity tracker or heart rate monitor. Information is the key to success, and the more you know about the way your body functions, the more you will be able to mold it into what you want it to be.
7. Start before the New Year: You want to feel good going INTO the new year so that you are moving forward rather than going backwards to erase mistakes made on the days before. Go easy with the alcohol on NYE, drink plenty of water, do lots of dancing, get a good amount of sleep and hopefully you will feel confident and energized as the new year begins.