4 Tips to Make Your New Year's Resolution a Reality

After weeks of unhealthy holiday eating and drinking, it's natural to swear off sweets and hit the treadmill. Gyms offer deals and weight-loss products bombard us with commercials to help make the New Year's goal of weight loss a reality.

Weight loss is one of the most common New Year's resolutions, followed by commitments to quit smoking, eat healthier, drink less, and get fit, according to USA.gov.

Despite the best of intentions, only 8 percent are successful in achieving their goal, according to a report published by the University of Scranton. This is evident in gyms across the country when, sometime in February, the treadmills suddenly become empty again.

Resolutions are easy to make, but sticking to them is the real challenge. This year, make yours last.

1. Have a Plan

If you know that you tend to be starving by 4 p.m., be prepared. Pack a snack daily with fiber and protein (like grapes and string cheese). If you typically drink too much wine with dinner, start with a large glass of water.

Developing new habits take time, 66 days to be exact, according to a study in the European Journal of Psychology. Sit down and develop a plan, stick with it and soon it will be part of your routine.

2. Set Realistic Expectations

It probably took months or even years to put on the extra weight you want to lose. Don't expect to lose it overnight.

Start by simply making a promise to walk 30 minutes per day, or to cut 500 calories per day. You can start small: change just one habit, like drinking alcohol only on the weekends. Whatever it is, don't make it unachievable, or you will be forced to quit.

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About the Author

Suzanne Corey

Suzanne Corey is a journalist and athlete. She competes in events around the country, including a marathon in Hawaii, a sprint triathlon in California, a rockin' half-marathon in Tennessee, and a century ride through Vermont and New Hampshire. When she's not training, Suzanne is raising two daughters and dreaming of a half-ironman. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Suzanne Corey is a journalist and athlete. She competes in events around the country, including a marathon in Hawaii, a sprint triathlon in California, a rockin' half-marathon in Tennessee, and a century ride through Vermont and New Hampshire. When she's not training, Suzanne is raising two daughters and dreaming of a half-ironman. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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