After a holiday season of binge eating, drinking too much alcohol at holiday parties, and steady levels of inactivity throughout the extreme hot or cold weather season (depending on where in the world you are), many of us decide it is time to put our foot down and make a stand for ourselves, setting resolutions to make a change.
The most common New Year's resolutions that I hear are to get in shape, lose weight, and exercise more. Unfortunately, the usual progression is your motivation quickly wanes and these goals for the year soon fall by the wayside, and pretty soon we are back to our old lifestyle. The concept is noble, but most of the time you won't stick to the resolution for very long. The ironic thing is that most of us who make some form of New Year's resolutions have made the exact one or ones many years in a row.
When to make resolutions
It might not be the start of a new year when you are reading this, and that can be a good thing. Part of the problem is that people wait until the start of a new year as a starting point, a time when there are usually a lot of other things going on too. The first thing you may do is delay the start until after the holiday season, maybe trying to indulge just final time.
The key is to set up your "resolutions" at other times, not tied or restricted to a certain timeframe. When you think about it, the resolution is just a means to a goal, there is no reason we can't set ourselves goals at any time.
If you have failed at this before, and so desperately want to rid yourself of one or more bad behaviors, then don't wait for the New Year to start. Start planning now with your lists of things you need to do in order to implement these new changes. That way you will be fully in touch with what you want to accomplish and it won’t be such a shock to the system. Then set a realistic time to start, and it doesn't need to be January 1st. It can be the start of the next month, 6-months before a holiday, your birthday.
What Changes to make
If losing weight is your goal, you should first ditch the newest fad diet, and get back to the basics of tried-and-tested methods. Usually, the best starting point is to record your food intake. Just like doing a budget to help save money, if you record all the food you eat you can get a much better idea of where to make changes in your diet (you can download a free food diary recording sheet). Just writing down your daily food intake will force you to think consciously about what you are consuming, and keep you focused on your goals. Losing weight can often result from simply focusing on a healthier intake.