Ashley Cramer writes a monthly health and lifestyle column for The Penny Rose. She is the owner of The Barre Studio in Capitola, Calif.
The holidays are a time to eat, drink and be merry, but after the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, we’re often left nursing a hangover and carrying a few extra pounds. New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get fit soon follow. These top the list of the most commonly broken resolutions, but a few simple strategies can help you stick to your resolution in 2015.
Set a specific goal. A resolution is often a vague statement like “In 2015, I’m going to lose weight and exercise more.” Set yourself up for success by turning your resolution into a goal that is specific, realistic, measurable and time-bound, such as “I will lose 15 pounds before bikini season by exercising at least three times per week.”
Write it down. When you write down your resolution, it’s no longer an ambiguous idea but rather something you’ve committed to do. Keep your written goal somewhere that you see it often—try a post-it note on your computer monitor or bathroom mirror. Seeing a short, written reminder is motivating and will make you accountable to your goal.
Put it on the calendar. Without scheduling time for exercise “I’m going to work out today” can easily turn into three days of driving around with an unopened gym bag in your trunk. Try scheduling your workouts for the week on Sunday night. You can always move them if something comes up, but you’ll start the week with a plan of action.
Don’t give up when you slip up. If you’ve skipped some workouts or had a junk food binge, don’t get demoralized and give up on your resolution. Just get back on track and know that it’s okay to let yourself mess up every so often.
Reward your progress. Sometimes we get caught up focusing on the end-goal and forget to celebrate incremental successes. As a reward for consistently going to the gym, maybe buy new workout clothes, get a massage or give yourself a day to relax and binge on Netflix. The rewards don't have to be big or expensive, but recognizing success along the way will keep you motivated to reach the next milestone and ultimately to achieve your resolution.