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8 Questions to Help You Set Achievable New Year’s Resolution

8 Questions to Help You Set Achievable New Year’s Resolution

The New Year is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to start thinking about what you would like to achieve in 2017. New Year’s resolutions are a great way to motivate yourself to move forward and achieve your goals, but lots of people struggle to stick to their resolutions.

There are lots of reasons why people struggle to stick to their New Year’s resolutions. Maybe the resolutions were unrealistic, or perhaps the person didn’t care enough about the resolution. No matter what the problem is, you can fix it – you simply need to change the way that you choose your resolutions.

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Here are 8 questions that you should ask yourself before setting your New Year’s resolutions to make sure that they are realistic and achievable.

1. Are my goals realistic?

One of the main mistakes that people make when they are setting New Year’s resolutions is that they aim too high. They feel motivated and ambitious when they choose their goals in December, but by January they feel demotivated and stressed so they drop the resolution completely. Make sure that your resolutions are realistic so that you will be able to stick to them even on days when you don’t feel very motivated.

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2. Am I making too many New Year’s resolutions?

Some people set lots of different resolutions. They decide to quit smoking, cut down on junk food and exercise more, but in the end they don’t fulfil any goals as they feel too overwhelmed. It is difficult to completely change your lifestyle overnight, but it is easy to change small aspects of your life. If you want to achieve your goals choose one or two resolutions to focus on, rather than three or four.

3. Is this a goal that I would love to achieve?

Some people are pressured by their friends and family to set goals that they are not really interested in. Don’t let other people choose your goals for you, as you won’t work towards it if you don’t really care about it. Instead choose resolutions that matter to you, so that you actively work towards achieving them.

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4. How am I going to reward myself if I achieve my goals?

Some resolutions come with their own rewards; exercising will tone up your body and help to improve body confidence, and quitting smoking means that your will improve your overall health. If you start to feel demotivated, try to focus on the reason why you set the resolution. If your resolution doesn’t come with a reward you can arrange a treat – for instance, you could treat yourself to takeaway on the 1st of February as a reward for sticking to your resolution for a whole month.

5. How am I going to measure my success?

Some people give up on their resolutions as they don’t measure their goals. This makes them feel demotivated as they feel like they are making an effort but seeing no progress. Write down a few ways that you can measure your goals, so that you are less likely to give up.

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6. Which resolution should I work on first?

Decide which resolution is most important to you, and try to work on that one first. It can be difficult to achieve lots of different resolutions, but if you work on them one by one you are more likely to achieve them all.

7. How much time should I give myself to succeed?

Do you think that your resolution will take two months or two years to achieve? Setting a time limit will make your goal seem more real, and it will help you to track your progress so you are more likely to stick to it.

8. How am I going to plan my life around my goals?

If your resolutions don’t fit into your current schedule, you will need to think about how you will manage your time in the New Year. Take a look at you schedule and re-arrange it so that you will have lots of time to work on your goals.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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