New Years and resolutions go together like peanut butter and jelly. And it makes sense that the start of a new year is used as a jump off point for new habits and goals. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to become healthier or lose weight.
However, most people, despite being enthusiastic and determined at the beginning of the year, lose steam through the long winter months and soon give up their resolutions completely.
This doesn’t have to be the case. If you’re looking to lose weight in the New Year, there are several tips that can be used to increase your likelihood of success.
1. Determine the Current Situation
Most people who make New Year’s resolutions are vague in their goals. ‘I will lose weight’ is great in theory, but to actually stick to the objective is a lot more complicated.
Before even considering the how, you should examine your current situation. Do you really need to lose weight? And if so, how much?
This can be determined with a doctor or by finding your current body mass index (BMI) and comparing it to your ideal BMI.
2. Consider Contributing Factors
Another thing to consider in this stage is whether there are contributing factors to your weight gain.
Most of the time, weight is gained when people consume more calories than they burn. However, this isn’t the only reason for weight gain.
Hormone imbalances, medications, or depression are all factors that can prevent successful weight loss.
By determining if these are contributing factors early in the new year, the probability of losing weight throughout the rest of the year will increase.
3. Set Goals
When a person has a clear vision of their current situation, the next best thing to do is set goals. These goals need to be realistic, or failure will be inevitable.
The best way to set goals is to make several big goals, like how much weight you want to lose overall or how many sizes you want to go down.
Next, break these big steps into smaller steps. For example, for the month of January you can decide to exercise three times a week and eat at least one salad a day.
These are small, realistic goals that will get you to your big goals.
4. Make a Plan
It’s not enough to just decide you’re going to do something, you need to actively plan out how you’re going to do those things.
Once you have your goals written out, look over them and determine what you will need to reach those smaller goals.
Do you need running shoes? Do you need to empty out your fridge and go on a healthy shopping trip?
Making a plan before you start your resolution will make it easier to meet your small goals, which will lead you to your bigger goals.
A part of making a New Year’s weight loss resolution that is often overlooked is what steps will be taken if goals aren’t met or something comes up.
What will you do if you miss a workout? What meals will you allow yourself to eat when you go to a restaurant?
These are all issues that you should plan out ahead of time so you have a clear vision for your goals.
5. Get a Support System
More than likely, you are strong enough to reach your weight loss goals by yourself. However, having a support system or a partner will make it easier and much more fun.
Having people who know what your goals are and support those goals will give you people with which to share struggles and accomplishments.
And, if you find someone who has similar goals, you can provide the same support for them.
6. Schedule Rewards
There are going to be points during your weight loss journey where you want to give up.
To make these easier to work through, consistently reward yourself for your accomplishments.
Be careful, however, that your rewards don’t completely contradict your goals. For example, don’t get a giant ice cream sundae for going to the gym.
Instead, reward yourself with events or even new clothes. These little pick-me-ups will give you the push you need to continue.
7. Record Everything
Studies have shown that those who keep detailed journals of their exercise and food lose weight faster and keep it off longer.
Thankfully, you don’t have to walk around with an actual journal to track your progress.
There are hundreds of apps and websites available that you can use to keep track of how well you’re doing.
And, seeing the little accomplishments will give you the encouragement to keep striving towards the big ones.
8. Allow Mistakes
No matter how well you plan and schedule, there will be points when you mess up on your weight loss journey. Just allow it, learn from it, and move on. Don’t obsess or beat yourself up over the little things.