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Sticking to a New Year’s Resolution: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Written on December 27, 2012 at 9:07 am , by

Ready, set, go! (Photo by James Michaelfelder)

With 2013 fast approaching, we’re thinking about the ways we can make the new year a healthier one. Making a resolution is easy–it’s the follow through that’s tough. “Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint,” says Susan Albers, Psy. D., author of Eating Mindfully. She’s starting a Mindful Eating Marathon this year to help you make daily changes that will help you stick to your goals.

So how can you train for a healthier 2013? Here are Dr. Albers’ top tips:

  • Focus on the positive. Think about what you’re already doing well and try to do it better. “If you want to lose weight and you’re having a hard time with your diet, focus on what you find fun, like exercise classes,” says Dr. Albers. Eventually the results from that will influence your other behaviors.
  • Make daily challenges. Instead of having one big goal, make daily ones that focus on the actions you need to take. “Instead of saying you will lose weight, say ‘I’ll get on the bike for 30 minutes today.’” Easy enough, right?
  • Get tools to make it fun. If your goal is to eat more fruit, buy kitchen tools like apple slicers and melon ballers. “If food is more attractive, you’ll be more likely to eat them,” she says. Use the new year as a reason to get new workout clothes if your goal is to get back to the gym.
  • Invest time in getting ready. You take time to get ready for a holiday party, so why not take time to get ready to be healthy? Dr. Albers recommends setting aside time in your schedule to go grocery shopping and chopping up fruits and vegetables to make eating well a breeze.

Tell us: What are your tips to make New Year’s resolutions more achievable?

More from FITNESS: Sign up for the Better Body Plan for tools to help you to shape up in 2013.