It’s that time of year – we all make goals and hope we can finally get to achieving them (or at least some of them) this time. Well, goals are a great first step in making them happen, and here are seven actions you can do to ensure you’re on the right road to seeing them all fulfilled in 2014.
1. Start with Shoes
We all know it takes both good nutrition and exercise to live a full and healthy life. It may seem overwhelming at first, so the best place to start is with exercise. Once you start to feel good and look good, this will motivate you to change your diet in order to match your good exercise efforts.
2. Make Ambitious Exercise Goals
Most of us with plan to exercise a certain number of times of week. But in our busy schedules, we don’t meet these expectations. Instead, aim to exercise every day because even if you don’t, you’ll probably make it to three or four workouts a week. According to research from the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida in USA, most of us accomplish 60% of our weekly fitness goals.
3. Find a Groove
Women who listened to music while walking can lose twice as much weight, according to a recent study from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. So jump on your treadmill or vibration machine and switch on your favourite tunes.
4. Keep Your Diet Simple
Stick to cooking a few tried-and-true recipes with a wide range of nutrients, and rotate them often. Eating too much variety can actually stimulate your appetite. If you’re faced with lots of options, you may be likely to eat more just out of curiosity.
5. Target Weekend Calories
Weekends are usually where we tend to “let go” and little more, when it comes to eating and drinking alcohol. One loose weekend can quickly turn into a routine, so aim to stick to your goals and find other ways to relax.
6. Order First
If you are dining out, be the first to place your order. “You can be influenced by other people’s food decisions,” says Gerard J. Musante, PhD, a clinical psychologist and founder of Structure House, a residential weight-loss center in Durham, North Carolina. If everyone is ordering the burger and fries, for example, you’ll be more apt to go with the flow. Set a healthier tone by ordering a salad and the crumbed fish.
When you overindulge (and you will, because you’re human), don’t beat yourself up, but don’t slough it off either. Instead, “consider what led you to overeat, and think of ways to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” says Kirschenbaum. Taking a problem-solving approach reinforces your sense of accountability, a key factor in losing weight.