More than anything else, Americans want to lose weight and get fit and healthy for this new year, according to recent polls measuring the most popular New Year’s Resolutions. Getting in shape is a great New Year’s goal, because it is a pursuit that will take you a year to fully attain. But the year long commitment is also one of the reasons that most people give up on this resolution come February.
If you’re serious about weight loss and getting into shape this year, check out these 11 tips for staying true to your resolution, and keep you going way past February.
1Work Out Daily
Try to exercise every single day, even if you don’t have time to do so. 15 minutes is more than enough to get you going, put your muscles to work and release those endorphins we crave so much. Psychologically it will make you feel better as well, even if you didn’t make such a big effort, and your weight loss will be kicked into gear. So, you’ve only got 15 minutes before jumping into the shower and then going to the movies? That’s perfect. Blast some Beyoncé and do some squats.
Related Article: The Quick Way to Sexy Legs
2Mix Up Your Workout Routine
Mix it up. When you do have to work out, don’t do the same routine over and over again. Redundancy is something that will kill your motivation and impede your weight loss. More importantly, getting bored will increase your odds of dropping out and then you’re back to square one. Try some cardio today, some yoga tomorrow, running the day after and then some spinning. It will create the illusion that you’re doing something new every day. Another great way to spice up your daily workouts is to take on a workout challenge, like the 30 Day Squat Challenge. These challenges motivate you to reach a goal, and they help you look great, quickly.
Say yes to food. This is a really good incentive to keep you working out all the time. If you do, you can eat healthy but still give yourself little treats too. Eating healthy means allowing some pasta, rice, meat and bread into your diet. And it is possible to eat healthy on vacation or over the holidays. The key is not to overdo it. Be aware of the caloric content of your food and be clever about it. Say you know you’re going to a friend’s birthday. And you’ll most likely want to eat cake. That’s great. You can always save up 200 calories throughout the day to accommodate a treat from time to time.
4Drink…Alcohol. Yes, Alcohol.
Say yes to alcohol as well. Most of us who are on a diet or simply watching our weight, know that alcohol is simply packed with calories and we keep away from it. But this, just like food, is a great motivation to keep working out on a daily basis. Just thinking about that Friday night Cosmo or that Mimosa you’re going to have at brunch with the girls on Sunday is enough to keep you on that treadmill. Again, the key is not to overdo it. If one drink isn’t enough, at least stick to low calorie alcoholic drinks to minimize your consumption of nutritionally void calories.
5Hit the Home Gym
Work out at home. Doing all those physical exercises that get you sweaty and bloated is not attractive, let’s face it. And while some forms of training make a visit to the gym unavoidable, others, like yoga, allow you to practice from the comfort of your home. And it’s not just yoga. You could also buy an indoor cycling bike, which will replace some of the cardio you normally do at the gym. They don’t cost much, you could even get one for under $300. The benefits are amazing. Simply imagining you don’t have to go to the gym anymore and sweat in front of a crowd of people, but go home, put some music on, light some aroma therapy sticks and bike happily away in your living room sounds like daily exercise heaven to me.
Related Article: How to Create a Gym at Home
6Aim to Get Fit, Not Just Skinny
Turning to tricks of the mind, try to focus on how you would really like to feel, rather than on how you would really like to look. You want to “feel” confident, energized, healthy and strong and this is what’s really important. You want to “look” skinny, but skinny and extreme weight loss doesn’t hold a candle to confident and healthy. Another good motivation for you to keep on working out, for the sake of your health rather than just your figure.
7Set Realistic Goals
Don’t set too high a goal for yourself. Actually, this is the main reason why fad diets and crash programs don’t work out. You’re setting too high a goal and giving yourself and your body way too little time to do it. Instead, try and break everything down into baby steps and celebrate whenever you accomplish one of these steps. Set smaller goals and spread them out across reasonable periods of time so that you have the time to achieve them. If you want more tips on how to set goals, check out these strategies for success of an MMA fighter.
8Love Yourself, Even Your Body
Love your body. What better motivation is there for working out than love for your body? Looks are important, you all know that and wish to look picture perfect in a tight dress, but it’s not just about that. It’s also about watching your fat indices, making sure your heart is healthy, your muscles and your skin are getting a fair treatment, not to mention your bones. Working out regularly is not only responsible for your weight loss. It is also effective in decreasing blood pressure, strengthening your bones and preventing a plethora of disorders.
9Get Enough Sleep
A good night’s sleep. Most of us have trouble sleeping because of the frantic lives we live, all the stress and worrying, but that can be easily solved with a great work out. It’s going to be tiring, but relaxing at the same time, so a good eight hours in the company of Hypnos are sure to recharge your batteries. More importantly, though, not getting enough sleep has been proven to contribute to weight gain. So make sure to adhere to your sleeping schedule and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep/day.
10Don’t Get Crazy
Don’t obsess over your work out. If you do, it will make it feel more like a chore than something you do for fun or pleasure. It will feel like an obligation you have towards your body. Of course, scheduling your workouts has multiple benefits. It makes you accountable and it allows you to track your progress. The idea is to find a routine that fits with your normal schedule and stick to it. Some prefer jogging in the morning, others prefer to go to the gym at night. Try everything out and see which alternative suits your needs.
11Dress for Success
And finally, yes, that dress. Or a new suit. A very good incentive to keep you working all the time is the way you’re going to look on special occasions. External motivation is extremely useful and may help you keep on track. So find a picture of yourself or of someone who motivates you (a picture of a fit celebrity or a trainer you’d like to look like) and use it as a constant reminder of what the end goal is. Remember, a special occasion is not the only time when you need to look gorgeous, you need to look good all year round, so keep working out every day!