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Don't give up on New Year's resolutions


Broken resolution?  AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Approximately 40 to 45 percent of the American population makes some sort of resolution. Have you given up on your New Year’s resolution already? Unfortunately, only about 64% will still be fulfilling that commitment after one month. Only 46% will remain after 6 months. Three of the most popular resolutions have to do with health – lose weight, exercise more, and stop smoking.

So, how do you increase your chances of reaching your goal? Here are some tips to help make your resolution a reality:

1. Be realistic. Don’t set goals that are exceptionally high or even unattainable. If you can’t walk a mile now, don’t expect to run a marathon by June. Unrealistic goals only lead to disappointment. Instead, set attainable goals such as lose 10 pounds by summer.

2. Outline a plan. If you want to run a 5k race this summer, have a specific plan in mind.

3. Get support. Tell people about your goal so they can offer you support when you need it. Better yet, enlist a friend as a workout buddy or weight loss partner. It’s harder to skip the gym if you know a friend is waiting for you.

4. Reward yourself. If weight loss or fitness is your goal, don’t make food your reward. Instead, treat yourself to a spa treatment or new workout outfit to keep you motivated.

5. Track progress. Keep a journal of vital information related to your goal. On days when motivation is waning, look back in your journal and see how far you’ve come.

6. Don’t beat yourself up. Everyone has an off day. Don’t turn it into an excuse to quit. Weather the storm and continue on your journey. One mistake won’t erase all your hard work.

7. Stick to it. It takes 21 days to make a new activity a habit and six months to make it part of your personality.

8. Keep trying. Losing weight and getting in shape are hard. It takes dedication to make it happen.

9. Be positive. Instead of focusing on what food you can’t have or what exercises you can’t do, concentrate on the things you can enjoy and the progress you have made

10. Shake things up. Have you walked on the treadmill 5 days a week for a month? Boredom breeds lack of motivation. Try a kickboxing class or use different cardio machines. Your body and mind will thank you.

Don’t give up on New Year’s resolutions, especially if they improve your health. For a list and a map of fitness centers in the Charleston area, click here. Check it out and maybe even sign up for a new class.



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