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01-25-11 | Posted by

The Expert Secret to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions – Stay Realistic!

It’s that time of year again when we resolve to get buffed and toned; go on a diet; quit bad habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol; and plan to save more money. 

“People make New Year’s resolutions about things that they know they really should do, but have neglected,” says Jana Klauer, weight-loss expert and author of The Park Avenue Nutritionist’s Plan.  “To lose weight and start exercising top many lists; plus all the holiday festivities can pack on the pounds and keep people out of the gym.”

Starting around now, most of us begin to struggle at keeping our resolutions.  According to published studies, about 45 percent of American’s make resolutions.  After six months, 46 percent of those that make resolutions still keep them.

Carole Carson, author of From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction says, “people frequently set up a demanding (and unrealistic) program that requires iron discipline, something most of us are short on.  Individuals also fail to integrate the changes into their lives—that is the new habit is pasted on to existing habits.  It is added on top of a current routine rather than incorporated as part of a new lifestyle.  Once the goal is achieved, old patterns of overeating and a sedentary lifestyle are resumed.”

Sticking to a new program in the New Year can be easier to achieve if you set realistic goals and make small changes first.  “Individualize your program and integrate your new habits into your lifestyle,” says Carlson.  “When you incorporate permanent changes into your new lifestyle, you simultaneously close the door on going back to your old ways.”

There’s still time to start the New Year fresh and squash old habits.  Remember, keeping it simple and setting basic goals is the key to staying on track.   Follow these goals below for a healthier new you in 2011.  

1. Adapt Healthier Eating Habits
Steer clear of processed foods and incorporate more lean proteins and healthy whole grains into your diet, which will help keep your fitness goals in view. 

2. Incorporate Fitness into your Everyday Routine
Klauer says daily exercise needs to become a lifetime habit or the weight that you worked hard to lose will return.  Try to find an exercise you enjoy and exercise at least 20 minutes a day, six times a week.  Carlson says Piloxing, a combination of pilates and boxing, will be a hot new exercise in 2011.

3. Relax More
Chronic stress can lead to serious health issues and disrupt the overall balance in your body.  Start the New Year fresh by taking a yoga or meditation class.  Even just 20 minutes of relaxation can help you learn to manage stress.

4. Add Some Color
Applying a new colorful lipstick such as a classic red or bright pink can be an instant spirit-lifter. Studies show that adding a pop of color can make you feel good on the outside as well as the inside, even in the middle of a harsh cold winter.

5. Get Organize
Vow to do away with clutter and get your personal items in order.  Clean out your sock drawer and purge the medicine cabinet for expired makeup, medicine and toiletries. 

6. Spend more time with Friends and Family
There’s no better mood-lifter than spending time with positive people and loved ones. 

7. Get More Sleep
Make a big effort in the new year to get a good night’s sleep.  Experts agree that on average adults should get 7 to 9 hours sleep per night for optimal health and well-being.   

8. Wear Sunscreen Every Day
It is starting to sound like a broken record, but it’s proven that wearing sunscreen prevents premature aging.  Apply SPF (one with at least SPF 30 or higher) daily, even under makeup.

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