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A Solution To The (New Year’s) Resolution

new years resolution, how to make a new years resolution, new year's resolution, how to make a new years resolution stick, smart new years resolutions

Easy to make; difficult to stick with.

New Year’s resolutions come in all shapes and sizes and are usually something we put on the back burner without much thought. But if you’re looking to make some actual changes this year and see actual results, it’s time to switch up the way you do resolutions. That’s why I’ve come up with A Solution To The (New Year’s) Resolution; a new way to set a goal and make it happen.

It’s all about imagining where you want to be and acknowledging where you are, which is what I did several New Year’s resolutions ago. Worth the struggle? You bet. Hard to believe that’s me on the left AND me on the right. A fresh year with a fresh start, 2014 is the perfect time to conquer that fitness goal you’ve always wanted to. Reading this article is the first step, so why stop?  I’ve outlined the steps to help guide you through it.


1. Think logically to set a realistic goal.

Goal-Setting1Come up with a goal that is specific and narrow. A goal that is too broad will never happen because you’ll never be able to create steps to get there. “Eat healthy” is too broad because there are far too many things that fall into the category of eating healthy.

“Eat a cup of dark greens with lunch and dinner five times a week” is better because it is specific and measurable.

The same goes for generalities like “lose weight” or “build muscle” — attach a defined number to it (i.e. lose 10 pounds in 2014 or gain 6 pounds of lean muscle by September 2014).

If you can’t measure your goal, you will never know how far you are on your way to accomplishing it.


2. Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to set your goal.

Why wait? Don’t think you have to wait until December 31st to come up with a goal and put it in action. Think ahead so you are ready to hit the ground running come January 1st.


3. Find support in others.

No one likes to do things alone, and this isn’t any different. Grab a family member, significant other, or a friend to tag-team your goal with. Even if they don’t want to be involved in your specific journey, tell them about your plan and how they can help support you.

Having another positive influence to keep your progress in-check can help you stay on track, focused, and motivated.


4. Track your progress and reward yourself.

tumblr_mxqqen0sqh1s7qp5fo1_500You probably know your goal isn’t going to happen overnight or in a week. But tracking your progress — including the good, the bad, the ups, and the downs — is the best way to see if what you are doing is working.

And if it isn’t working, that’s a positive takeaway. It might be time to gauge what you’ve been doing and if it makes sense to make a few changes.

Don’t forget to celebrate and reward yourself for the victories (big and small ones) along the way. It’ll help you keep going even when it seems like there may be no light at the end of the tunnel.


5. Be honest.

This is where tracking your progress is key. You have to be honest with yourself about what you are and are not doing. If you ate that double cheeseburger last Friday, own up to it. If you skipped that extra 10 minutes of cardio, make note of it.

Change will only happen if you acknowledge and take ownership of your actions. Each one adds up to the overall success and achievement of your goal(s).


6. Motivation comes from the inside.


Only you know what motivates you. Write little inspirational messages on your mirror, add reminders on your computer, or even follow motivational Instagram and Twitter accounts. When in doubt, remember this:

“When nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself. When nobody else compliments you, then compliment yourself. It’s not up to other people to keep you encouraged. It’s up to you. Encouragement should come from the inside.”


7. Think lifestyle, not temporary.

When creating your goal, remember that “diets” and “30-day workout challenges” are things that only last for defined period of time. Try making a goal or a challenge that you can implement into your lifestyle long-term.

Make it a positive lifestyle change that you will want to continue as a habit — not just something that’ll last for a month or two.


8. Step out of your comfort zone.


Don’t be afraid to try something new in your journey towards change and transformation.

Comfort zones are beautiful things but nothing ever grows there. Try a different workout, lift a little heavier, or make a healthy dish you never thought you liked. This will keep your resolution exciting — with new things to look forward to and challenge yourself with.


Bringing It All Together


At the end of the day, it doesn’t need to be New Years or any special occasion to create a goal and start making changes. In any facet of your life, whether that is work, family, friends, mental or physical health, now is always the right time to be the person you want to be.

There are seven days in a week, and some day isn’t one of them.

You can follow Julie @sweatyandstrong; and find Lean It UP on  Twitter Facebook and  Pinterest for real-time fitness/nutrition tips, advice, info and updates.



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