Five tips to keep your healthy new year’s resolutions

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Illustration by Lydia Wojack-West

It’s a new year and another chance for us to get it right again. Fitness goals are some of the most popular resolutions, but they are also the most commonly failed. It all sounds easy and achievable at first, yet most of us tend to give up not even half way into the year. Tired of not staying committed to your goals? Here are a few tips to help you succeed:

Be realistic

If you have the same fitness goals every year, chances are your goals are impossible to achieve and do not work well with your lifestyle. Start with something that you are confident in and familiar with. If your goal is to start eating and drinking healthy, begin with minor substitutions such as adding a slice of lemon to your water instead of drinking store-bought lemonade. If you attempt to completely stop everything your body normally consumes, your body will give up on you, and you will eventually give up on your goals. Remember: slowly but surely.

Set short-term goals

Many of us tend to set the deadline of our new year’s resolutions at the end of the year. One whole year is a long time to achieve a goal. This can be very risky and gives us leeway to play around, procrastinate, and push off our goals. Before we know it, it’s the end of the year again, and we’re stuck with the same new year’s resolutions. Setting short-term goals would be your best bet when trying to maintain your healthy habits. If your goal is to lose around 50–60 pounds by the end of the year, set a goal to lose four or five pounds by the end of each month.

Reward yourself

Being healthy isn’t easy, especially if you’re a college student who lives off of pizza, Ramen, and vending machine junk. We all need the motivation to stick to our goals. If you’ve managed to complete your short-term goal, make sure to reward yourself! Not many people stick to their new year’s resolutions, so you deserve that new video game, phone, or whatever it is that motivates you.

Make it fun

Okay, let’s face it: There’s nothing worse than the pile of dishes waiting for you after spending three hours preparing your healthy meals for the whole week. It would be much easier to simply throw away the box of pizza without having any dishes to worry about. The best way to get through the extra chores and impediments of healthy living is to do it with your partner or a group of friends. Schedule a day and time every week to cook and prepare your meals together, and take turns cleaning the mess. Play some music while you’re at it!

Stay true to yourself

For any chance of success, you must be setting goals and doing it for yourself. If your main reason to be healthy is to look good for someone else or to meet certain expectations, you’re doing it wrong. If you do it for yourself, you’re already half way there. Once you put a certain goal in your mind, stick to it and be true to yourself. The best thing you can give yourself is 100 percent control of your body and mind: When you have accomplished that, no one else can do so.

While it is so much easier to give up when it gets too hard, it won’t do you any good. Imagine how rewarding it will be at the end of the year when you realize that you’ve actually accomplished your goals. When you feel like you just can’t deal anymore, think about everything you will gain after you’ve succeeded. It’ll all be worth it!

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