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Keep Your New Year's Resolutions with One Simple Trick

It happens at the end of every year, right after the calorie-packed marathon of the holidays: We take a look back at the last 12 months and make a list of all the things we need to work on.

We need to lose weight, eat better, pick up a new hobby. And we know we need to exercise more often—or, let’s be honest, at all—but, well, we just don’t want to.

Tens of thousands of calories later, December winds down, we tell ourselves that enough is enough. We make a list of New Year’s resolutions and pledge to stick to them. This time we MEAN it, right? Things go well at first, but then we fall behind. Then, we fall way behind. Then, discouraged, we abandon our resolutions altogether—until the end of the year, when we dust off our list and tell ourselves that, come January, things will be different. But, of course, they never are.

New New Year’s resolution: Stop making New Year’s resolutions

Losing weight and getting in shape are important goals. They’re also challenging goals. Sticking to a diet and exercise plan is hard enough without adding needless stress, and making New Year’s fitness resolutions—and trying to keep them—just because everyone else is, can be extremely stressful.

So, don’t bother. That’s right… Make a resolution now to not make any resolutions next year.

Instead of psyching yourself out by committing to a bunch of big changes in January, start with a few simpler ones now. The only thing different about your first week in January will be wondering "why is there a line for the treadmill all of the sudden?"

Get more sleep—Wait, so you’re giving us fitness advice, but you’re starting off by telling us to go to sleep? Yep. You’ll be too tired to exercise and too cranky to eat healthy if you’re not getting enough sleep. If you stay up late binge watching shows on Netflix, chances are you’ll binge eat unhealthy snacks while doing it. Go to bed at a decent hour and get up at the same time every day. And don’t worry: You can ease yourself into it. Start hitting the hay a half hour earlier each night until you hit your optimum bedtime. And feel free to gradually adjust your alarm clock, as well. Once you find a combination that doesn’t leave you feeling exhausted in the morning, stick with it.

> Read more tips to perfect your evening routine, like eating earlier.

Eat better—We already talked about how going to bed earlier can help you avoid late-night snacking. Now, it’s time to work on the rest of your diet. But, again, don’t worry… You don’t have to go cold turkey and, say, eat nothing but cold turkey all the time. If you’re not familiar with the food pyramid, Google it. Start planning your meals around it, and work towards eating three meals each day. If you’re not currently eating breakfast on a regular basis, start. This will help kickstart your metabolism and give you some nutrients that you might not be getting otherwise. Gradually replace sugary drinks like sodas and five-dollar coffee drinks with water. Try to limit snacks or desserts to special occasions. And if you occasionally slip, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just keep going.

two smoothies with fruit on top on wooden surface

Exercise—Once you’re sleeping more and better, and eating better, too, you’ll start feeling better. Maybe a lot better. And you’ll have more energy. And once you have more energy, you’ll feel more like exercising. And once you start exercising, you’ll feel even better and have even more energy, which will make you feel even more like exercising. (See how that works?) Start slowly. Walking is good. Work up to at least 30 minutes on most or all days of the week. Pencil it into your calendar, and make it part of your routine. Add some bike riding. Or swimming. Or light jogging. Consider joining a gym or working out along with videos on YouTube. (There are thousands for all skill levels.) You can do this, and the more you do it, the more you’ll want to.

Lose weight—It goes without saying that if you are overweight, you need to lose weight—for a variety of reasons. But, here’s the thing: Losing weight should not be viewed as a task. Instead, it will become a byproduct of getting more sleep, eating better, and exercising. Instead of freaking out in December that you need lose 30 pounds as quickly as possible, start now by losing a few at a time. Focus on getting healthy first, and getting into those long-lost skinny jeans second. If you follow the first three tips, this last one will take care of itself.

We designed the WonderSlim® portion-controlled meal plan to be the easiest way to help you lose weight, yet feel like you're not making drastic sacrifices or losing the energy needed to keep exercising.

Read more about the science behind it in our learning center.