Resolve to stay resolute

Now that you’ve successfully scored that New Year’s kiss with a lover, friend, stranger or like me, an imaginary being — again, for the 19th year — it’s time to guide your efforts toward creating or renewing your New Year’s resolutions. The idea of a fresh list of resolutions can be both exciting and intimidating as we toss the mistakes of the past year behind us. The true excitement lies in whether this declaration to fulfill a better you will endure the tremendously long months ahead.

Once the frenetic energy of New Year’s Eve passes with the last clink of a wine glass and parade of confetti, it becomes all too easy to lose sight of the initial momentum that prompted your resolutions of the year. Reminders of working toward a healthy lifestyle with clean eating and exercise becomes a quickly forgotten idea as an invitation to all-you-can-eat sushi surfaces or while a warm plate of freshly baked brownies is being passed among your friends. Thus begins the recurring cycle of making and breaking promises to yourself.

Let’s face it, New Year’s resolutions are difficult to keep, but there are more than a couple of ways to ensure that your goals are attainable. Once you set a resolution, solidify it by jotting it down on paper and creating a course of actions to set them off. Many common goals can become a reality throughout the year with just a few tricks.

We’ve all seen those blog posts on pursuing a healthy lifestyle and advertisements to enroll in a gym membership or diet plan. New year, new you, right? Getting fit doesn’t have to mean dreading days and weeks of a cumbersome workout regimen or cutting your favorite fattening foods out of your life though. That also doesn’t mean that you should continue eating all of the oily, sugary goods that come your way either. Use these treats as both a motivation and reward to be more active each day.

Climbed three flights of stairs instead of taking an elevator? Treat yourself to a bite of that chocolate bar that has been calling your name all week. On top of that, there are many apps that help manage your meal plans and exercise. An alternative would be to have companions to keep you accountable throughout the year. Having someone keep you on track by encouraging your healthy habits and checking up on your daily intake and activities can be that extra shove you need to resist your negative temptations.

Stress negatively affects your emotional and physical health as well as your relationships. Make it a top priority this year to reduce your stress levels and maintain it through the new year. We know that exercising is a common method to manage stress, but we don’t all have the time — or desire — to revisit our dusty athletic shoes. Instead, taking a 15-minute hot bath when you’re feeling extra stressed out is another way to combat stress. You can also reduce stress by simply spending more time outdoors. And while you’re soaking up that vitamin D and overall feel of nature, take a stroll around and count that toward your exercise!

No matter the New Year’s goals you set yourself up for, resolve to keep a lasting resolution past the record of five days. Make it a habit to record your progress and maintain a weekly schedule to keep yourself accountable on your objectives. Whether it be to pursue fitness and health, reduce stress or quit a negative habit, remind yourself that it takes time before results will appear. It may take months before a set course of actions toward your goal will become routine. While all of you are busy keeping up with your resolutions long after the buzz of the new year, I’ll be weaning myself off of my obsessive habit of keeping track of One Direction’s Harry Styles, while simultaneously planning my resolution to have him as my next New Year’s kiss.

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