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Tips for Staying on Track with Your New Years Resolution

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By the time January rolls around, the backlash of the holidays hits you hard. All the eating, drinking and staying up late catches up, and you may feel exhausted or energized and ready to keep going. But the thought of going back to the daily grind can seem depressing. How to continue with your weight loss plan and stay motivated?

Be Realistic

The most important part of your New Years Resolution. Set a goal for your self, but be realistic about it. Maybe you won't lose twenty pounds in a month, but you could attend 15 exercise classes at your gym. Or go workout twice a week for a month. Be specific with your goal and make sure it's attainable. Think about why you want it, and what you will do once you reach it.

Plan Ahead

Will you go to the gym before or after work? When are you most likely to want to exercise? Try bringing your gym clothes to work, and head directly there after, instead of stopping at home first where you're more likely to forgo the gym. Choose a class or two that look interesting and make a weekly commitment to the class, or set a workout date once a week with a friend; you can keep each other motivated.

Have a Back-up Plan

On those days where you just don't feel like working out, have an alternative plan for yourself. Take a walk after dinner, or even do a few crunches and lunges just to move around a bit. Often, once you start working out, it's easy to continue. Or make a compromise with yourself. If you skip the gym one day, plan on staying an extra ten or twenty minutes the next time.

Have a Workout Buddy

Set a day of the week to workout together and make it a priority. If you have to cancel, be sure to reschedule for a later date. Once a month, choose an activity for you and your friend to do. Then next month they get to pick. This way you can both try new things.

Have Fun

Whatever your resolution, make sure you have fun doing it. If losing weight is your goal, think of ways to make it enjoyable to you. Otherwise you'll never attain it. Staying positive is key to attaining a goal. If you get discouraged, think about why you want this goal and what it would mean to you.

Reward Yourself

A reward doesn't have to be bad for you. Cook a fun dinner and invite friends over to enjoy it with you, or have a potluck. Treat yourself to a new book, movie or pair of shoes - whatever is a nice treat. Set small goals along the way and write them down. If you reach your first goal, you get to reward yourself. Plan what those rewards will be ahead of time so you can look forward to them.

Photo Credit: life is good (pete)

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