Don’t make another fitness and health resolution — not yet.
Not until you know exactly what you’re getting into this time.
There are a few reasons why New Year’s resolutions might be doomed to fail before you even start: you’re not that passionate about your goal, your plan isn’t maintainable and you’re not giving yourself enough credit for the hard work you’ve already accomplished.
And people fail so often at their New Year’s resolutions that the National Institutes of Health includes in its definitions a psychological condition to categorize those who keep attempting to change themselves and repeatedly fail: False Hope Syndrome.
Let me guess: It was too cold out to run, right? Or your 9 to 5 schedule is just so tiring that you couldn’t make it to the gym three months in a row.
My eyes are permanently rolling in my head.
It’s OK to fall off the health wagon every now and then. But giving up completely and deciding this year’s not the time to do it and next year is, isn't going to work out.
And you don't need a new year to start creating a better you.
Start from scratch
The very first thing you need to change to make this year successful is the way you think about exercise.
It doesn’t have to hurt or be uncomfortable or embarrassing and messy. Find an activity you actually enjoy. Don’t make it the dark cloud hanging over your day, nor your last priority. Do something you’ll look forward to. That way, you won’t make an excuse to skip it.
Also, finding a workout buddy helps because then you have an obligation to workout ... unless you find a friend as lazy as you. Don’t do that.
Second, be realistic about your goals.
People fail at health resolutions when they make it all or nothing: they go cold turkey from all junk food and instead eat a strict diet of lettuce and weeds for a month. Or it’s either hardcore workouts twice a day or skipping your workouts all together.
But neither of those is healthy, nor maintainable.
Get off Instagram and stop comparing yourself to everybody else. Comparison is the thief of joy and not every workout routine is going to have the same affects on everyone.
Exercise and diet is not one-size-fits-all.
Studies show that people who participate in extreme weight-loss programs end up putting on the weight they took off, plus more, because the program is completely impractical for the long haul.
Ease into your new exercise routine and diet. Start controlling your portions with foods you already eat before you start switching up your foods and cutting back calories.
Health should be a lifestyle, not a six-month fix.
Remember why you started
Thirdly, you're doing this for yourself. And nobody said it was going to be easy. So practice the three Ps in 2018: patience, persistence and pride.
Be patient with your results, be persistent with your goals and take pride in what you already have accomplished.