New Year resolutions. Easy to make, hard to keep. You signed up for the gym membership and vowed to cut out sugar, but now it's getting harder to make it to yoga on time and you're eyeing that chocolate bar at the checkout counter. But who doesn't want to make this year even better? Don't lose hope—we're here to help with our top 7 ways to keep your "new you" resolutions, plus a few bonus ideas for healthy habits you'll actually be able to stick with all year long.
1. Make a real plan.
Vowing to go to the gym 4 days a week sounds like a plan, but you're much more likely to follow through if you actually pick out classes, choose set times to use the equipment and decide on milestones. Having a concrete plan with specific details makes it easier to get started and stay on track with your resolutions.
Bonus healthy habit: Hold a plank for 10 seconds every morning and evening. Add one more every month until the end of the year.
2. Change your environment.
If you're surrounded by unhealthy choices and distractions all day long, it just makes it harder to make good decisions. Clear out the snack drawer, turn off the notifications and hide the credit cards. If temptation isn't always in your face, it's easier to ignore.
Bonus healthy habit: Find ways to sit less and stand more. Park farther away, try public transportation, work or study standing up—be creative!
3. Create a domino effect.
Most of our habits aren't something we think about very hard, so one bad habit can lead to others. Luckily, it works the other way too. For instance, adding more healthy fruits and vegetables to your diet can help you eat less junk food, which in turn can help you save money, lose weight and feel more energetic.
Bonus healthy habit: Try swapping water for one flavored drink (coffee, tea, soda, juice) each day. Then try adding an extra cup of water to your routine.
4. Don't be afraid of using a little peer pressure.
Sign up for a group or a class, or use social media to tell your friends about your resolutions. When you feel your willpower start to flag, your friends, family and classmates can give you the motivation you need.
Bonus healthy habit: Find or start a walking club. Get together with a few friends once a month to go for a walk and socialize. You can discuss your goals for the year, compare notes, and share encouragement, all while getting a little extra exercise.
5. Failure is an option, just don't let it make you quit.
Everyone slips up, especially when it comes to making big life changes. The important part is to not let a mistake become an excuse to give up.
Bonus healthy habit: Get more sleep. Sure you were on your phone until 1 am last night, but tonight, pay attention to the sleep-stealers—phones and devices, television, work—and try to push them out of your bedtime. Feeling more rested can make you healthier immediately while giving you the focus and energy you need to improve your life in other ways.
6. Remember that resolutions aren't just for New Year's Day.
So you didn't make any resolutions this January, or you've already given up on the ones you did make? There's the whole rest of the year you can use to make your life better.
Bonus healthy habit: Pick one food swap to make each month, such as switching from juice to whole fruit, or using beans in place of meat in one meal a week.
7. Focus on easy, small changes first.
Change is hard, and trying to take on too much at once can just make you feel like a failure. Instead, look at small habits that can lead to bigger changes and focus on those first.
Bonus healthy habit: This one really is easy—use Veeda. No chemicals, no synthetics, no dyes—just 100% natural cotton for a more comfortable period each month.
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