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If you have a year-round gym membership, you know that come January 1st each year there are an abundant number of new members in the gym. Or maybe you’re one of the new members (good for you!). The full gym capacity doesn’t bother you much, though, because you know come February, you won’t be fifth in line to use the weight bench.
So what is it about New Year’s Eve and resolutions? For starters, it’s not anything new or out of the ordinary. The tradition dates all the way back to the Babylonians who thought that, in exchange for making promises to their gods, they’d be blessed upon with good luck or fortune. We don’t expect as much in the way of resolution payment now, but that doesn’t make the thought of a new year full of opportunity to “start fresh” with a new set of goals any less exciting.
Here are five ways to help make this the year you stick to your resolutions.
1. Ask yourself, “What is one thing I want to change about myself?”, or “What’s something I’ve always wanted to do?” In order to change, one must really WANT TO. That’s the real secret to keeping a resolution.
2. Pick a resolution that is simple and short-term for starters. Finding something that’s especially doable (think cutting out eating past 9:00 p.m., walking a mile every day up to the marathon you signed up for in the spring) makes the finish line seem closer in sight and keeps your eye on the prize.
>> Read more: Talking New Year’s Resolutions
3. “Be in better shape” is at the top of your goal list. If you know that you’re not going to be able to attend the gym more than once or twice a week, consider working out at home. You don’t have to have a built-in gym in your spare bedroom to get a good workout. A lot of programs only require a minimum amount of equipment, while others are based around using your own body weight. So that “I didn’t have time to drive to the gym yesterday” excuse no longer works.
4. If your resolution is to simply be healthier — make healthy habits easy! But before you swear off sugar in your coffee for the rest of your life, try slowly weaning off those not-so-healthy things instead. Chances are you are less likely to experience a binge on chocolate-covered animal crackers if you aren’t giving up the things you really enjoy cold turkey. Start simple like substituting creamer with low-fat milk.
5. Pick something fun that both you AND friends or your significant other can enjoy together. Always wanted to try a yoga class, but afraid of looking silly compared to the experienced yogis? Group classes make you nervous? Trying new things with others you know will not only help you get past those public jitters, but it’s a great way to keep you committed to attending classes.
>> Read more by Nicole: Spin Class Beginner? Here’s What to Expect