At the beginning of each year, it’s pretty common to make lofty resolutions that most often we don’t keep. We might not keep these resolutions for a variety of reasons: the resolutions weren’t realistic, we weren’t really committed to that resolution or maybe we just don’t know how to start tackling the resolution. Many times, especially with resolutions concerning health and fitness, we expect big results in a short amount of time and get disheartened when we don’t see those results.

Getting in shape and losing weight is always a popular resolution. If it’s on your list, we have some advice on how to make that resolution a reality. First and foremost, instead of setting strict resolutions, such as “lose 20 pounds,” or “run a 5k every day,” here are some alternative resolutions that can help pave the way to a fitter you in the coming year.

Start by Building Healthy Habits

While there are varying opinions on how many days it takes to build a habit (some say 3 weeks, others say 40 days), starting with day one and building from there is important. One of the easiest ways to help you with specific habits is to track it.

While you can certainly do this yourself in any notebook or device, there’s also tons of resources that have printable trackers for you like this one from Evermore Paper.

Start Small

Rather than saying you’ll do an hour of exercise every day, resolve to be active every day (being active can mean a variety of things, from walking to a bike ride around the neighborhood or hitting the gym for a yoga class). By choosing to be active every day, you are building a new healthy habit. In regards to starting a cardio routine, start with low key exercises that you can do at your pace, such as walking. Start with 5-10 minutes and build from there, but remember to take it slow. It’s more important to be consistent than to exercise for a certain amount of time, especially if you are new to working out.

Consider Food Substitutions

A big mistake people often make when tackling nutrition is to choose a new (perhaps trendy) diet plan. Often, advertised diets are not the best method for losing weight. You may see results, but without making lifestyle changes, those results can be short-lived. Instead, make small, smart substitutions. For example: instead of ice cream, try frozen yogurt, instead of mashed potatoes, choose mashed cauliflower, eat multigrain bread instead of white bread, etc.. There’s a whole list of completely doable substitutions for a healthier diet without limiting or restricting yourself.

Resolving to be a healthier you doesn’t have to be overwhelming or intimidating. By taking consistent small steps; you can see big changes.

This article is brought to you by the YMCA, wishing you a happy and healthy 2018! Visit the YMCA website for exercise tips, a list of classes, nutrition guidance and more.

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