Each year 45 percent of American adults make New Year's resolutions. And each year, one-fourth of them will fail to keep their resolutions through the first week of January. And to no one's surprise, these numbers get worse as time goes on, with another one-third of resolvers forsaking their efforts after the first month.
When it comes specifically to weight loss and fitness resolutions, the failure rate may be even higher. Even without the statistics, this can be seen just by comparing the number of cars clogging your local health club parking lot in the first week of January to the number in the same lot during the first week of February. Odds are the difference will be dramatic.
So as the end of January nears, we will soon be entering that pivotal period where the success of your weight loss or fitness resolution hangs in the balance. Will you press on in the face of adversity or will you completely abandon ship like so many of your peers? Here are some tips to help get you over this critical first-month hump.
Make yourself accountable to another person
It has been proven that those who involve workout partners and personal trainers in their program have more success than those who exercise alone. Why? Because when you make yourself accountable to another person, it becomes far more difficult to blow off a scheduled workout in favor of Netflix and nachos.
Go public with your progress
Social media can be a terrific motivational tool in your weight loss or fitness program. By creating a free account on Tumblr, Twitter, or Facebook and sharing your journey to a healthier lifestyle with your friends and the general public, you will likely feel a greater obligation to keep going until you reach your goals. After all, you don't want to disappoint all your followers who will be tuning in for updates.
Join a virtual support community
Cultivating a strong support system is vital to weight loss and fitness success--even if that support is virtual. Sites such as MyFitnessPal and SparkPeople provide free message forums, articles, blogs, and food journals that allow you to engage with fellow dieters, share stories and tips, and ask for or offer nutritional or exercise-related advice. Regularly connecting with other people who are in the same boat will remind you that you're not alone with your struggles, and can help you persevere when you'd rather quit.
Ebbs and flows in motivation are unavoidable, and affect even the most diehard fitness buffs from time to time. What's important is the way you prepare for and respond to the low points. Which of these expert tips are you most likely to use to ensure you stick to your resolutions?