Once you’ve picked a goal, whether it’s general or specific, share it with people. Sharing your effort with family and friends makes you accountable, adds motivation and allows others to be supportive. It may even help you by attracting people engaged in similar eff orts. For example, running or walking with an exercise partner is a lot safer and more enjoyable than going it alone.
Break it down. Instead of deciding to lose 30 pounds in 2014, how about deciding to lose 10 pounds by Easter, and 10 more by Labor Day? Then you’ll see the finish line, with a better chance of getting rid of the last 10 pounds.
Keep a journal of your progress so you can look back and see what you can do better, and perhaps find common denominators that are getting in the way of your goal. Too busy to exercise daily? Perhaps you can pare down your schedule. And remember little things, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking a little farther away from your office to build fitness into your day.
If you fall, get back up and don’t be hard on yourself. And don’t give up. Miss a whole week of gym classes? There’s a new week coming up. Bad habits don’t take root in a day. Neither do good ones.
Don’t get overwhelmed — it’s one thing at a time.
Remember, your list of things to accomplish in the New Year shouldn’t be as long as your Christmas list was in December. Break large goals into smaller pieces, set benchmarks along the way, ask for support from family and friends and find ways to incorporate your passions into your self-improvement plans.
Focus on a healthier you, and never forget to allow time to enjoy each day we’re given.