The first day of 2014 is here! For those of us who have fallen way off the healthy wagon, especially over the last few months, we have the opportunity to make a fresh start. Before you set your New Year's resolutions, know that there is a technique to being successful. Here are a handful of popular resolutions that, when gone about the wrong way, have the greatest possibility of failing.
To Lose 30 Pounds in Three Months
While weight-loss goals are commendable, making a high and unrealistic goal sets you up for failure. Instead of deciding on a huge long-term goal, set short-term goals by the month or even the day such as "lose four pounds by February," or "cut 250 calories per day." And when you reach your minigoals, be sure to celebrate them, and continue to set new ones to help you attain that big goal at the end of your weight-loss rainbow.
To Join a Gym
Is joining a gym on your list of 2014 goals? While a gym is a great place to work out, just signing the membership papers won't get you to exercise more. Make a specific fitness-related resolution so exercise happens, such as "I will exercise three times a week" or "I'll attend a Zumba class once a week." Specific, focused goals are more likely to happen and can jump-start other exercise goals.
To Cut Out All Sugar
Too much cake, candy, and cookies over the holidays can drive anyone to want to swear off sugar for good. But going extreme with your New Year's resolution and trying to completely cut out certain types of food like carbs, sugar, or dairy cold turkey on Jan. 1 might be too much for you to handle. If you know you have a sweet tooth or can't stay away from the bread basket, then make a resolution to cut back instead of eliminating. Allow yourself to indulge every once in a while; otherwise, you might end up binging and eating more than you would before you even made the resolution.
To Eat Healthier
Deciding to eat healthier is one of the best New Year's resolutions you can make — it's the broadness of the goal that is the issue. It's best to define that goal with smaller, more specific goals such as "to eat green veggies twice a day," or "to eat fruit instead of ice cream for my after-dinner treat." These defined goals will be easier to follow, making you more successful at your original goal of eating healthier.
To Do Too Much
When the first of the year rolls around, many of us want to ditch all our unhealthy ways and start fresh and new, but making too many goals all at once can be so overwhelming that within a week you'll want to throw in the towel. Talk about resolution overload! To increase your success, start with one goal, and once you stick with it for a few weeks, go ahead and add another goal — it's OK if not all your resolutions start exactly on the first day of the new year.