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For a lot of us, the New Year is a great time to make a fresh start. Once holiday planning, travel and pigouts are a thing of the past, there’s finally time to focus on making healthier decisions. But even the best of intentions often melt away well before spring rolls around. Whether you want to eat better, quit smoking or work out more in 2011, here are a few key tips for keeping your resolutions.
Are you looking to reinvent yourself in the New Year? Lofty goals can be a great thing, but they can also become daunting when the fantasy of a new you gets replaced by the day-to-day burden of a diet or fitness regimen. To give yourself a better chance of success, set manageable goals, then work your way up to tougher ones. And be sure to talk to your doctor about potential health risks before making big changes to your eating or exercise habits.
Whether you’re trying to lose 10 pounds or stop smoking, do something that will make your resolution feel more real. One way is to tell friends, family or coworkers about it. They’ll probably help you along by encouraging you and watching your progress. Another way to commit is by making an investment in your resolution. A new bathroom scale , for example, will remind you about a weight loss resolution every time you’re in the bathroom.
Paying attention to how you’re doing can help you stay motivated by keeping your goals in sight. Keeping a simple diary or crossing off days on a calendar can be great ways to stay focused. There are also free online tools like this Diet and Exercise tracker that make tracking your progress easier. You might even consider investing in a fitness accessory like a pedometer or a bathroom scale so you can measure your progress in miles or pounds.
Feel like you can’t lose the weight or stop smoking on your own? There are products that may help. You should consult your doctor about the best and safest options, but smokers may improve their chances of quitting with nicotine gum, patches and lozenges . Dieters can try products like Alli, whose effective ingredient, Orlistat, prevents 25% of the fat they eat from being absorbed when used according to its labeled directions for use.
If getting in shape is your goal, you can also make sure you have the right tools for the job. From having good shoes to an exercise mat or fitness ball, the right exercise and fitness accessories can help you get going. And if you know you’re going to keep your resolution, home exercise equipment can cost a lot less than a gym membership over time.
If you fall short of your goals, or if February sneaks around before you’re ready to get serious, don’t use it as an excuse to wait until next year. You can resolve to make a healthy change any time. Start today. Start tomorrow. Your resolution will be waiting for you whenever you’re ready.
And when the going gets tough, make a list of all the reasons to keep your resolution. Do it for yourself, for your family, for your pets or for a long, happy life. As you start thinking about it, you’ll find there are tons of reasons to make a change for the better.
So, what are you waiting for?