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New Year, New You: A 5-Step Plan

When it comes to getting in shape for the new year, January is without a doubt the time to start that new diet and workout plan. There is a problem that comes around by February, however. And Valentine’s Day definitely doesn’t help! You find yourself returning to those old habits, and somehow that bag of chips you swore you would never eat again is in your pantry. How do you keep yourself motivated throughout the year, even after giving in again and again to your trusty (and unhealthy) go-to snacks? It really can be as simple as making a decision. (Or maybe in this case, the 5 decisions listed below)

1) The decision to make a lifestyle change. It’s yours. Whether it is to lose a few pounds to feel better in your skinny jeans or to keep up with your kids on a daily basis, pick a reason that truly motivates you.

2) A workout plan that truly works for you. Do you need others for motivation? Have friends or family keep you accountable for those gym workouts. Find a workout buddy to go on walks or jogs with. Kick things up by getting a personal trainer. Try out a group class and see how others in the class sweating alongside you brings you some inspiration. There are so many ways to stay motivated, and it is all about finding a plan that works for you, and most importantly, one that you can keep. (And don’t under-estimate the power of good workout music and a new workout top to get you excited to hit the gym!)

3) Mix up the workouts every week. If you find yourself getting bored easily, find ways to exercise each week that make things interesting. Not only will you stoke your metabolism (a great bonus), but you will find yourself having more fun and not dreading your workouts.

4) A diet plan to make your efforts effective. There is nothing more important than following a plan that will keep you healthy and energized. I hesitate to say “diet,” however. . Crash diets will lead you to instant weight loss, but are generally hard to keep long term. This leads to gaining all the weight you lost back, and sometimes adding a few more pounds than before in the process. Your metabolism is very important for effective weight loss, and isn’t something you want to mess with from overdoing the flip-flop diets.

5) Stick to whole grains, and lose the refined sugars and carbohydrates. There is nothing that will hinder your health and weight goals more than consuming refined carbs on a daily basis. Find healthy snacks when you are doing your weekly grocery shopping, and stock your fridge accordingly. Re-think your snack choices, changing your idea of a “snack” from a chocolate-covered dessert to something like a packet of oatmeal with sprinkled walnuts.

Make the decision to change your lifestyle today, and see amazing results. Once you have broken the unhealthy habits, you will find yourself focusing on the positive changes in your body. And maybe enjoying the way your skinny jeans fit several years ago once again. The way you feel in those jeans will make the hard work worth your while!

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