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Maintaining the Momentum of New Year’s Resolutions

successJust about a month ago, we were celebrating the beginning of a new year, and a new decade. Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? Did you decide that with the new year would come a new you? Did you resolve to lose weight, develop an exercise habit, or change your diet? How is it going for you?

Many people who make these types of vows struggle with maintaining their forward momentum. Maybe you aren’t seeing results as quickly as you’d like, or you feel stifled and tired of even trying. Relax and take heart, for what you are feeling is normal and natural and literally everyone goes through it. How do you get past it, though?

To begin with, reflect on and remember your goal. Did you begin to exercise with a specific weight target in mind? By this point in your resolution, you might be between five and eight pounds lighter. Now, that doesn’t seem like a huge amount, but you have to start somewhere. Any loss is a positive (well, any loss is a negative, but you know what I mean). Do you want to be a smaller size? Post a picture of a great new outfit in that size and refer to it whenever you feel discouraged. Another very helpful hint is to create a vision board to help you maintain your focus. Cut out pictures of images and quotations that will help you focus and stay on task and glue them onto a small poster. Post it where you can refer to it often. I often put mine on the refrigerator.

womanIs your goal attainable? Do you need to revisit? If you have a good deal of weight to lose, it can be very overwhelming to think of that number. Break it into smaller goals. When you reach that goal, celebrate with a non-food reward – maybe a new outfit, a piece of work out equipment or a pedicure.

Trying to revamp your diet? Changing everything all at once can be the quickest way to burn yourself out. Instead, make small, incremental changes. Start with your breakfast. Drop the fast food. Add whole grains and fruit. Above all, don’t skip breakfast! After you’ve made that change a part of your diet, make another small change – perhaps dropping high fructose corn syrup from your diet or adding a salad to most meals. Small steps will lead to your goal just as large ones, but often small steps are easier to maintain.

Want to give up? Feel like it’s too hard? You aren’t alone. Everyone who has transformed their life feels this way. This is the dark before the dawn. Hang in there and know that it takes a minimum of 30 days to create a habit, so just a few more days and your new lifestyle will be your new norm!

February 1st, 2010

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