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New Year's Resolutions, 1 Month Later

10 ways to make your diet and fitness resolutions last

Top 10 Habits of Successful Resolvers

Now that you know some of the reasons so many people fall off the resolution wagon, here are 10 expert tips to help you stick with your own New Year's vows:

1. Have a Realistic Eating Plan

Agatston suggests an eating plan that has plenty of variety, yet is simple, interesting, and tastes good -- such as the Mediterranean-style diet with its "good carbs" from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; healthy fats from nuts, fish, and olive and canola oils; and lean protein. "There should not be so much confusion over what is the best kind of diet; these are the basics as recommended by the new [U.S.] dietary guidelines and pyramid," he says. "You can find an eating style that works in your life without weighing, measuring, or restrictive eating."

2. Believe in Yourself

Seeing is believing; once you see you are capable of making changes in your behavior, it inspires confidence. So says Canyon Ranch of Tucson's Director of Nutrition, Lisa Powell, MS, RD. "I ask my clients to imagine themselves practicing a particular behavior change two weeks out, two months out, two years out, and if the answer is 'no,' then we re-evaluate to make sure the goal is doable," Powell says. "Breaking down a lofty goal into smaller steps is often what is needed to gain the belief that you can do it."

3. Get Support

Studies show that social support is critical, especially after the first few weeks when your motivation flags. Seek out someone who will be there for you long-term. "Some people find success with online support groups while others do better with an exercise buddy," says Norcross. "You need to figure out what kind of support will help you during the tough times that are inevitable when changing behaviors."

4. Spell Out the Details

So you want to lose weight or exercise more -- just how do you plan to do it? How will you handle eating out, or a schedule that squeezes out exercise? Devise a sensible plan for how you'll shop, cook, and fit in fitness. Think through how you'll deal with cravings, but don't deprive yourself. If you give yourself permission to eat what really matters to you, it puts you in control (instead of the diet), and empowers you to make a healthy decision on portion size, says Powell. "Eliminating your favorite foods can be a recipe for disaster," she says. "Instead, allow yourself small portions, on occasion. Otherwise, the denial may create an obsession that derails your goals."

5. Set Mini-Goals

Maybe you want to lose 50 pounds, but you'll be more motivated to succeed if you celebrate every 10 pounds lost. Realistic resolutions are ones you can live with. Look at them as lots of "baby steps" strung together. Setting the bar too high can be demoralizing. People who set attainable, realistic goals are more likely to succeed, says Norcross.

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