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Avoid common New Year's resolution mistakes to achieve your 2013 goals

January 01, 2013

As the manager of a fitness facility, year after year, I’ve seen a surge of people coming through our doors in January. We’ve all over indulged over the holidays and we vow to take it off with a New Year's resolution. Everyone has wonderful intentions and are really motivated the first couple of weeks. Slowly but surely, the motivation fades and people start to drop out. We see clients trying to do too much, too soon. They may get hurt, sore and/or just can’t keep up the pace with the expectations that they have given themselves. Make your resolutions stick this year and avoid the common mistakes with these simple techniques:

Set a specific goal

Don’t be vague with your New Year's resolution. Make your goal specific so that you know exactly what you are shooting for. Instead of “I’m going to work-out more this year” it should be, “I’m going to work-out three times a week for 20 minutes.” Your goal should be something that you can measure and keep track of like drinking 5 glasses of water a day.

Set a realistic goal

Don’t set a goal that is almost impossible to meet. You will quickly lose motivation when you continually miss your expectations. Instead of “I won’t eat any sweets” change it to “I will eat sweets once a week as a treat.” Saying you're going to “eat better” or “exercise more” leaves your goal to too open for interpretation and excuses.

Think it through and evaluate your New Year's resolution

Is this something you really want to do? Don’t look to others for motivation – it must come from within.

Make a plan

Schedule time for you and your goals. Set up appointments in your calendar.

Write down your goals

Write them down and put your goal in a place that you will see it often. Keep a log of your progress.

Tell family and friends

Make sure your close family and friends are aware of your resolution this year. It helps to have someone to hold you accountable. Use your social networking sites to enlist support. You may also benefit from finding someone who has the same goals as you. See the advice of a professional as your progress or when you feel you may need some extra help.

Start off slow

If exercising or eating better are your goals – don’t do too much too soon. Start your exercise routines off slow and work your way up. Focus on making small lifestyle changes in your diet. Don’t completely deprive yourself of enjoyable foods.

Reward yourself along the way

Be sure to reward yourself in a healthy way when you achieve your measurable goals: get a massage, manicure/pedicure, new workout clothes, new music downloads, go fishing, buy sporting equipment or take a day off and go to the beach.

Did you make any resolutions this year? Share your resolutions with us!