A 7-step guide to making (and actually keeping) your 2017 Resolutions
It's that time of the year again - when you pledge yourself to exercising more, getting proper rest, and turning down that second piece of cake at dessert...You hit the gym for a week or two only to find that you've lost motivation by the beginning of February. We've all been there. Luckily, we're here to help! Below, we've compiled 7 tips to help you keep those New Year's Resolutions going all year...Or at least until March!
Set a goal for yourself
Don’t just make that New Year’s resolution to “lose weight” or to get that “body like J Lo” Those aren’t goals, those are desires. Instead say, “I’m going to lose 20 lbs by losing 1 lb a week.” Instead of thinking, “I’m going to exercise more,” say “I’m going to spend at least an hour in the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.” Rather than “I’m going to take more time for myself,” say, “I’m going to meditate for 10, 20, or 30 minutes a day.” If you don’t set realistic goals, you set yourself up for failure. And remember, you won't see results unless you eat a healthy diet. So aim for eating less sugar, less saturated fats, more protein, etc.
Don’t crash diet
We get it - the holidays were full of booze, snacks and desserts. And while it’s important to pace ourselves, we are only humans, and we do get caught up in the moment(s). So if you gained a few pounds over the holidays, don’t beat yourself up, and absolutely don’t crash diet. With rapid weight loss comes even faster weight gain. And why shouldn’t it? If you cut yourself down to 900 to 1200 calories a day - after being overweight - you’ll lose the weight, yes. But that amount of caloric intake is impossible to keep up, and you’re bound to go back to eating like, well, a normal person. And when you do, you’ll gain that weight back and feel defeated.
Need a fitness buddy? How about your phone...
Going it alone is hard. Many of us can’t cough up the money for a wellness coach, nutritionist or personal trainer, and keeping up with a “gym buddy” is damn near impossible. Apps like GymHero, Zombies, Run! MyFitnessPal, Lark, Fooducate, ShopWell and Calm - among many, many others - can help you reach whatever wellness goal you have, from weight loss to meditation.
Get enough sleep
Really pay attention to this one - it’s kind of why we started Bear Mattress. 5-6 hours a night just isn't cutting it. If you’re not getting at least 8 hours a night, you’re more likely to experience weight gain, drowsiness and a lack of performance at the gym, at work, and in life in general. So turn off the tv, unplug from that podcast, wait to send that email in the morning and get some quality shut eye!
Find motivation - both internally and through other channels
If wanting to fit into those old jeans from college hasn’t been working for you, how about following some super inspiring Instagram accounts? Some of our favorites are The North Face, Jen Sinkler, GoPro, Burn This, Instarunners, Will Arrufat, RedBull and MindBodyGreen. When you fill your life (even your virtual life) with positive influences, you’re more likely to want to make a positive change. Also, unfollowing some of those foodie accounts won’t do you any harm - when you see decadent food you want to eat decadent food, which is totally fine on occasion, but not every day.
Don’t give up when results don’t show overnight.
If you’ve never exercised in your life, you’ll start seeing results fairly quickly, but if you’re already somewhat active, changes will take some time. If you eat well and exercise regularly, you won’t notice a change for around a month, and your friends won’t notice a change for around two. Don’t get down on yourself - building an amazing and healthy body is hard work. Make it a hobby, not a chore. When you start finally seeing results, you’ll be so happy you stuck with it.
Love the body you already have.
This is probably the most difficult - and the most important. A lot of health and fitness New Year’s resolutions are grounded in self loathing and body image issues. Yes, of course you can want to lose weight or gain muscle, but you’re not doing yourself any favors by hating your current body. So stop! Love your body and treat it well because it’s the only one you have, no matter what it looks like.