By Lauren Denos: 12/28/2014 (Mindset)

New Year’s resolutions are coming up and that means that suddenly everyone is going to start working out and going on a new diet. How many times have you done this? Every year? Or did you do this a few years and finally give up on it all together? If you are one of the few that had lasting success from a resolution pertaining to getting healthier then that is awesome, but for most the initial fire of a resolution wears off fast. Good news is you can succeed, you just need to do things a bit differently than you have been.

#1 Be honest about what you really want. This sounds obvious, but in reality this is not what most people are doing. You do not want to pick some arbitrary goal like, “I want to lose 20lbs.” Is this really your goal or is this what you think you should want? The best way to figure out what you really want is to look at what you want with your life. If you want to be more active for your kids, then your goal isn't really weight loss, but rather increasing your stamina and strength.

#2 Use the right motivations. No matter what your resolution is, you need to use what will actually keep you going with it. If your life focuses around your children, then you want to be thinking about all the fun you will have keeping up with your children. If your focus is to be the best sales person in your work place, then you need to be thinking about how working out will help uplift your mood and give you better stamina to rise to the top. Not to mention the great stress relief after dealing with the general public all day. Your focus in life can be anything, but you need to see how your health is going to help you with what you want to accomplish. This will help keep you going when that initial New Year’s resolution glow has worn off. Again, be honest here. It’s not about giving the right answer to anyone else. Instead, it’s about what YOU really want to succeed at in your life. Whatever this reason may be, you want it to fire you up!

#3 What will happen if you succeed? What will happen if you fail? Think about what you are wanting to achieve. Now think of all the great results from achieving this. If you are wanting to be active for your kids think about things like taking them on back packing trips, swimming with them, and being an example for them. You want these thoughts to be ones that are very powerful and make you feel amazing when you think about them. On the other hand, think about what will happen if you do not succeed with your goal. Think about the sad and disappointed look on your child’s face when you say you cannot go on a hike with them. With this side of the coin, you want these thoughts to be ones that upset you. If they make you want to cry you are probably on the right track. You can think of as many success and fail scenarios you want, and you may want to write them down so when you are thinking you are just not going to go workout today because you don't feel like it, you can look at this list it will light a fire under your butt!

#4 Don't change everything at once. When people start a resolution they change everything all at once and then wonder why it didn’t stick. This is not a sprint race, this is a long, steady paced ultra-marathon. You want to make small changes that become a part of your life. The best way to do this is to take it one step at a time. If you are new to working out, then do 30 minute workouts- not an hour. You may want to do 2 or 3 days of weight training and then do some walking on the days in between. This way, you will not burn yourself out. You want to build up slowly, not hit it so hard that it is too painful to continue. When it comes to your eating, instead of getting rid of all the food you love, start cutting down the bad stuff and adding in more helpings of the good stuff. If you love pizza and you eat it 3 times or more per week, then cut it down to once a week. If you are not eating enough vegetables just focus on getting a 1/2 cup serving in with each meal. The reason for this is that changing everything so drastically tends to be very painful for people, which is why so many people stick with this new resolution for about a week or a month and then start to let it go. Does this mean that you absolutely should not change your diet drastically? No. If you really feel like you want to do it that way that is your choice. Some people accomplish this, it is just rare for people to switch it up completely cold turkey. Doing it in small steps will make this an enjoyable journey instead of a trail of terror.

#5 Find something you can stick with both nutritionally and for your fitness. There are so many different types of eating styles and bodies that you need to look and see what will work for you and what you will enjoy sticking with. No matter what you choose, getting vegetables and healthy protein into your diet is a must. When it comes to your workout, you do not need to go to the gym and do weight training or cardio on a treadmill if that seems horrifying for you. Look at what you would enjoy doing. Take a dance class, do yoga, join an adult armature sports team. Some people love the challenge of training for a marathon or triathlon. There is no right or wrong, it is all about what you will keep your butt moving. When you find the exercise you enjoy doing, you look forward to it instead of dread it. Overall, that positive outlook is better for your happiness of life.

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