Right now you’re fired up to hit the new year running. You’re going to lose those extra pounds you’ve been hauling around. You’re going to run a 5k. You’re going to finally feel trim and terrific. You’re thinking this is your year. But chances are there’s doubt lurking in the back of your mind. How many times have you made resolutions in the past and failed? Even if all you want to do is get to the gym more often, integrating your goals into your daily life means you’re set up for success no matter what comes your way.
“Anyone can stick to a plan for a week or two,” says Celebrity nutritionist, trainer, and former professional boxer Cristy “Code Red” Nickel, author of The Code Red Holiday Survival Guide: How to Maintain or Even Lose Weight During the Holiday Season. “But if you want to stay motivated and make changes that will last a lifetime, you’ve got to think differently. If you do the same things you’ve always done, you’re going to get the same results.”
Nickel’s approach to weight loss resolutions is all about setting yourself up to win. “Success isn’t rocket science,” Nickel advises. “It’s just a matter of planning ahead and having support when you feel like giving up.” Nickel specializes in helping people stick to their goals and actually achieving success—no matter what the circumstances. Read on for her tried-and-true strategies for navigating 2018 and reaching those goals once and for all.
1. Clean out your newsfeed.
Whether you like it or not, social media is a part of our daily lives. You need to get rid of stories and people who don’t line up with your new desired way of thinking. Trying to cut back on wine? Get rid of wine advertisements. Get them out of your newsfeed so they’ll get out of your mind.
2. Surround yourself with like-minded people.
You know the old saying “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”? Well, what do you want your future to look like? Start following elite-level athletes on social media. Grab coffee with folks from your gym. Hold healthy dinner parties. Get friends who think like you: fit, strong, athletic, healthy!
3. Buy some cool workout clothes.
Nothing gets me more jacked up about going to the gym than a new workout outfit. Spend some money on high-quality gym clothes that fit you right and make you feel good. Oversized, ill-fitting clothes that you constantly have to tug and pull at just make you feel miserable. When you feel good in your gym clothes, you’re more likely to put them on and go!
4. Set achievable goals.
The reason people quit New Year’s resolutions so quickly is because they take on too much to begin with. Everyone wants to start a strict diet and exercise program on January 2nd, and they’ve completely given up by the 14th. It’s too much! It’s overwhelming! Instead of vowing to workout at the gym an hour every day, decide to go to a yoga class at least three times a week. If you do more, great! My nutrition clients have proven to me over and over that if you just make one or two changes at a time, there’s a greater chance those changes will stick and turn into a lifestyle.
5. Plan ahead.
Making decisions takes energy. And by the end of the day when it’s time to decide what’s for dinner, it’s pretty likely that you’ll already be low on energy. If you have to make a choice between cooking a healthy meal and hitting the drive-thru on the way home from work, it’s really easy to cave in. Planning ahead with tools like meal-prepping and slow cookers can make sticking to your healthy resolutions much easier.
6. Stay accountable.
Let’s face it, at some point in the next few weeks you’re going to want to quit. You’re gonna want to cheat on your diet. You’re going to skip a workout. But if you have someone watching your back, someone who is totally committed to helping you reach your goals, you might think twice before ordering that caramel macchiato. You can hire a professional trainer, nutritionist, or just ask a friend you trust to hold you accountable.
“You don’t have to face yet another year of disappointing results and broken promises,” concludes Nickel. “If you truly want to lose weight, get fit, and live healthier in 2018, you can absolutely do it! Instead of setting goals you know you’re never going to reach, set yourself up for success. Tell yourself that you can do it this time—and then prove yourself right!”
By John Cicioni