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New Year, New Habits: How to Crush Your New Year's Health Resolutions All Year

Living a healthier lifestyle is a common choice for a New Year's resolution, but many individuals take the wrong approach and find their hopeful habits fizzling out a month or two into the year. Build new habits that will help you achieve and maintain your goals for short-term satisfaction as well as long-term success. Use these strategies for a resolution that will last.
Choose a Diet You Can Maintain
Image via Flickr by wuestenigel
Avoid extreme, restrictive diets that are difficult to prepare for and time-consuming to maintain. Choose a diet that you can see yourself comfortably sticking with as a permanent lifestyle. Make healthy, delicious swaps that don't leave you feeling deprived. While you might want to count calories briefly for a better understanding of how many calories are in your favorite foods, this shouldn't be a long-term requirement of the plan. LifeSum recommends familiarizing yourself with the right number of maintenance calories to sustain weight loss and then incorporating these into healthy patterns you won't have to think about.
Find Activities You Love
If sweating it out at the gym doesn't leave you feeling powerful and pumped, choose a different approach to your health resolutions. Forming a new habit is a three-step process. You need a trigger that initiates the habit, a routine that's easy to follow, and a reward that presents you with a clear benefit for that behavior.
Choose fitness activities that fit this paradigm. For example, when leaving work. you may pass a walking trail that can trigger your routine. Walking the loop is your new habit. If you enjoy walking and find the scenery pleasant and relaxing, you'll enjoy a rewarding sense of refreshment after the walk that will encourage you to do it again.
Incorporate Simple Solutions
Adopting too many big changes at once is overwhelming. This is where many New Year's resolutions fail. Start with something simple that you can easily master, like drinking more water. Get new water bottles for work and home. Stock up on frozen fruit or other flavor enhancers if you like. Set phone reminders to keep you chugging throughout the day. This one simple act can supercharge your healthy adjustments.
Set Small Targets
Don't set all your resolutions for January 1. Get a calendar, and set a new goal for each month of the year, building on your previous achievements. You might start drinking water in January, which will curb some of your hunger. In February, take this to the next step and replace carb- or sugar-filled snacks with healthier options. Continue to build a healthier lifestyle one small step at a time until you're enjoying the full impact of your new and improved lifestyle by the end of the year.
When you take a reasonable approach to incorporating healthier habits, you'll find that you can crush your goals with lifelong successes. Though this strategy isn't as quick and extreme as more complicated diet and exercise regimes, it will deliver results that are much more satisfying than rapid weight loss and a quick bounce back to heavier weights.



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