Monday, December 30, 2013

"I'm Going to Lose Weight"

According to both Statista and Statistic Brain, the single most common New Year's resolution is to lose weight. It also violates two of the top rules for creating effective resolutions. For starters, "losing weight" isn't very specific. It can be five pounds or fifty. It's also an admirable goal that actually encompasses a lot of little goals, which can be overwhelming. So, if you want to make it more feasible, try aiming for those instead. For example: "I'm going to log my eating and workout habits." Forget changing your habits right off the bat. Start by observing them. By keeping a log of what you eat and how much you work out, you give yourself a framework for what to do next. From there, your goals aren't abstract and lofty, they're manageable and simple. Try one of these tools to get started. "I'm going to change one thing about my eating habits each month." Whether it follows the previous step or you do it on your own, you can start small to change your diet and build a foundation of new habits. Removing a single unhealthy food or reducing portion sizes may not seem like much, but it's practical. You can use each little change as a stepping stone to move up to newer challenges. "I'm going to work out three days a week." Everyone says they're going to start hitting the gym, but without a concrete goal there's nothing to keep you motivated. So give yourself a set number of days, and work out those same days each week. The key is to fit it into your routine and keep yourself motivated so you actually stick to it. If you need some ideas, our Lifehacker Workout might be a good place to start. Of course, there are hundreds of small changes you can make that affect your weight. The key is to choose one or two that easy to manage. Once you get the hang of that, you can skip ahead to the last section.

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