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How to Crush Your Resolutions and Be Your Personal Best This Year

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    Why Your Resolution Needs to Be #MyPersonalBest

    You could spend the next year trying to get Gwen Stefani's abs, Michelle Obama's arms, and Carrie Underwood's legs, but let's be real here: No number of planks, push-ups, and squats will magically transform you into someone else. That's why this should be the year of making your resolution all about you. It's time to strive for your personal best—whether that means getting your best body ever, making your best dinners, or logging your best sleep schedule. 

    These tips and tools will help you make these goals a reality. Feeling inspired? Join Fitness and Shape in crushing 2017 one step at a time, using the hashtag #MyPersonalBest

  • Avery Powell

    Learn to Eat Healthy (the Easy Way)

    Tired of failed diets, bland meals, and running out of ideas for eating healthy? This 30-day Shape Up Your Plate Eating Challenge from Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D.N., will not only help you shed some of that holiday fluff, but also teach you how to plan, cook, and love eating healthy for every meal.

    Blatner serves up a grocery list, recipes for every single breakfast, lunch, and dinner (plus snacks!), and ideas on how to use your leftovers in healthy ways. And since you're hot off the season of holiday indulgence, it starts with a weeklong "detox" where you ditch processed foods and clean up your diet (sans expensive juices or crazy restrictive eating). The best part? This doesn't feel like a diet at all. 

  • Avery Powell

    Get Hooked On a Workout That Burns

    If you're charging into the New Year ready to get strong, fitter, and slimmer, then you'll need a workout that you love—and one that really works. Here, the perfect routine to get you started and keep you motivated through the first month of your year domination: a 30-minute total-body fat-burning workout from Anna Victoria.

    The Instagram-famous trainer (creator of the Fit Body Guides) dreamed it up just for Shape. Do it three times a week, and you're sure to see results. Already have a workout plan queued up? Add this to your current routine for some extra-credit burn. 

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    Take It Week By Week

    When it comes to tackling your goals, it can be tempting to sprint right out of the gate. But if you're looking to make lifelong changes, you can't rush it. In the first week, you should make small, steady changes to progress toward your goal—nothing drastic, according to psychologist John Norcross, Ph.D., coauthor of Changing for Good. Here: a guide to crushing your health goals week by week

  • Know Your "Why"

    Looking for something that'll help you stick with your workout goal? The answer is not in a gym membership or a new pair of sneaks—it's a sense of purpose.

    Researchers at the University of Colorado at Denver found that people with a greater motivation in life (having a real "why" to steer all their actions) were way more active than those who had kind of "meh" feelings about life. Here's how to translate that to your goals: Instead of saying "I want to lose weight to look good," tap into the other ways it will change your life. "I want to lose weight so I'll be more confident and start crushing it in other areas of my life too." More on that here: The Surprising Thing That Will Up Your Fitness Game.

  • Visualize What You Want

    Whatever your goal—get stronger or slimmer, become more zen, eat more fruits and veggies—it'll help to be visually reminded of it every single day. Follow some inspirational accounts on Instagram that align with your goals, put together a Pinterest board, or craft a goal board IRL to remind you exactly what you're working for and why. More on that here: 6 Ways to Set and Achieve Smart Goals.

  • Don't Expect Perfection

    Yeah, you're going to have off days. You're going to overindulge at happy hour, eat too many slices of pizza, sleep through your alarm, and skip a workout or two. The trick is to learn from that "bad day" and then stop the behaviors in their tracks; don't let one cheat meal turn into a weekend-long binge. One trick is to ask yourself after a slip-up: What am I going to do differently next time? Here: Tricks for Adopting a #Winning Mindset.

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    Tap Into Your Digital Network

    Social media might be the source of some negativity (hi, body-shaming and FOMO), but that doesn't mean it isn't useful for your fitness goals. A study from the Dominican University of California found that sharing a goal with someone else affects the likelihood of its success. So go ahead, post your resolution on your Facebook page—it just might help keep you accountable, or garner some cheerleaders who want to see you succeed. Here: Ways Social Media Can Help You Lose Weight.

    One way to start? Join the Shape #MyPersonalBest Facebook group and connect with other badass women who have the same goals. 

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    Face Your Fears

    Chances are, to be your absolute best self, you're going to have to face some scary things. That could be getting on a scale, really looking in the mirror, signing up for a race, attempting a new workout class, or stepping up to the stove. One tip for staring down whatever scares you: Where you focus your attention, you're focusing your power. So don't worry about what you can't control—channel your energy into what you can, and watch the progress unfold. 

    Related: Tips from Life Coaches On Facing Your Fears

 

Lauren Mazzo

Lauren Mazzo is a digital editorial assistant for FITNESS and SHAPE. She's an Ithaca College alumna, a Rochester, NY, native and an NYC transplant.  More →

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