New Year’s Resolutions

Every year, we make New Year’s resolutions in order to “put away” the old year and welcome in the new. But while we may start off with a go-getter attitude and lots of motivation, those resolutions seem to fall by the wayside too soon. Here are some tips for keeping and conquering two of the most popular resolutions: 1) spending more time with family and friends, and 2) losing weight.

Spending More Time With Family and Friends

With the age of email, Facebook and other forms of social media, we’ve become complacent in our relationships. It’s simply easier to text someone rather than reaching out with your voice, or posting to a Facebook wall rather than asking “what’s up?” in person. Some simple things to help you get a bit more of “you” back into your relationships can include:

1) Send an ecard, a paper card or handwritten note.

2) Instead of texting, make an actual phone call.

3) Make a date with your friends once a month – a regular “girls night out” or meet-up anywhere keeps bonds strong.

4) “Unplug” your computer once a week and take that time to take a relative to a movie, or go for a walk in the park.

5) Sit down to a meal with your family – at the table, not in front of the TV. Whether at home or in a restaurant, regular meals together help with communication.

Losing Weight / Getting Fit

Whether your resolution is to lose weight or simply to get in shape, resolving to get healthy is an important but difficult goal for many. Stay on track and motivated by incorporating these tips into your routine.

1) Start a food / exercise journal to track your eating and activity habits. Seeing these things written down can help you see where there’s room for improvement and where you’re succeeding! It’s your “proof” of effort.

2) Go slow! You didn’t gain the unwanted weight in a day or a week, so don’t expect to lose it that quickly. Go into your resolution knowing that this is a longer-term commitment.

3) Set measurable goals. Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight.” Instead, make a plan to lose 5 pounds by January 31st, or whatever that goal may be. Be specific and realistic – no one healthily loses 20 pounds in two weeks! (see “Go Slow”).

4) MOVE! Increasing your activity will burn more calories and boost your energy. Consult your doctor or a trainer for the best routines that deliver the most results. A mix of stretching, cardio and strength training is a good plan, but realize that even if you can’t get to the gym every day, simple things like taking short walks will help move your body towards your goal.

5) Clean out pantry. Get a new attitude on food and clean out the “junk” that may be hiding in your cupboards and fridge. Replace junk food with fresh veggies and fruits, and ditch the soda for low-sugar fruit juice and water.

6) Take a photo of yourself at the beginning and then another every four weeks – this can help you see your progress and motivate you to keep up the good work. Don’t just rely on a scale – take stock of how you actually look.

7) Get some help from your friends. If you have a buddy with the same goals, use them as a support system. Having someone to exercise with will keep you on track and honest in actually getting the physical work done.

What are some of your tips to keeping your New Year’s resolutions?