Many people make a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight.  The problem is sticking to it.  Follow the steps below to improve your chances of keeping your resolution:

  • Be specific about what you want to accomplish.  Instead of just saying you want to lose weight, write down how much you want to lose in a specific timeframe.  For example, I want to lose 10 pounds by spring break.  Maybe your goal is to fit into the shorts or jeans you bought last year.  Some of you may want to just look good in your swimming suit this summer and are looking to simply tighten and tone.


  • Post pictures around the house or at work as reminders.  If you have a picture of yourself wearing those clothes you want to fit into again, display them where you will see them frequently.  Hang your swimsuit somewhere as a reminder that you will be wearing it soon and want to look good.  You could even post pictures of clothes that you want to buy once you lose weight.  A great place to post these pictures is in the kitchen, so every time you reach for a snack, you’ll be reminded to eat healthy.


  • Plan an exercise program.  You should include a mix of cardio and muscle building exercises to lose weight or get in shape.  Cardio is any type of exercise that gets your heart rate up, such as; running, swimming, jazzercise, dancing, aerobics, walking, biking, jumping rope, basketball, volleyball, soccer, etc.  These are just a few examples.  Anything that gets you moving will help get your heart rate up and burn fat.  Some muscle building exercises include; lunges, squats, weight lifting, leg lifts and abs.  These are toning exercises that help build muscle.  When you build muscle, your body burns more fat.  Try to do 30 minutes of cardio at least 3 days of the week and muscle building 2 or 3 days.  You can also combine cardio and muscle building on the same day.  When you combine cardio and muscle building in the same workout and alternate between them, it’s called interval training.  Interval training has been found to burn more fat than cardio or muscle building done separately.


  • Create a checklist to track your workouts.  I have a spreadsheet that lists all the days in the month and has a column for each type of workout that I want to do on a regular basis.  It includes cardio, lunges, squats, arms, leg lifts and abs.  Since I’m so busy all the time, I leave each column open and fill in what exercises I’m able to do each day.  You can also schedule what exercises you want to do each day.  When I do cardio, I track how many minutes I worked out.  For the toning exercises, I do a certain amount of sets for each.  Each toning exercise can be done in 10 minutes, so these are great to do when you don’t have a lot of time.  You can also work in cardio in 10 minute sessions, so don’t feel like you can’t do cardio when you are short on time.


  • Post your checklist in a prominent place.  I keep my exercise checklist posted in the kitchen where I will see it every day.  This helps remind me to do my exercises every day.  It also reminds me how much work I have done, so I’m less likely to eat snacks.


  • Track what you eat.  Keep a journal and write down everything you eat throughout the day.  We often don’t realize how much we eat and by writing it down it makes us more aware of what we eat.  We can also see what time of day we lose our willpower or what triggers cause us to eat more or eat unhealthy snacks.  By finding our weaknesses, we are more likely to overcome them.

By following these steps you’ll be more likely to keep your New Year’s Resolution.  Good luck and check back next week for more tips on getting fit for the New Year.  Just stick to it and don’t give up.  Getting healthy is a lifestyle change not a temporary fix.