Top 10 Habits of Successful Resolvers continued...
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.
6. Manage Your Cravings
Cravings for foods are caused by swings in your blood sugar. If you eat the right kinds of foods and snack strategically, you can eliminate cravings, says Agatston. "Almost everyone who is overweight has cravings, typically late-afternoon hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)," he says. "They frequently choose simple carbs (like sweets, soda, and refined bread products) that give them a quick boost." The problem is that a quick rise in blood sugar is usually followed by quick fall, and hunger strikes again. Eating every 3-4 hours, and always including lean protein (from nuts, low-fat dairy, lean meats, or beans) will satisfy your hunger for fewer calories and without the dramatic swings in blood sugar, Agatston says.