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We’re in the second week of a new year and most people are still going strong with their New Year’s resolutions. Hitting the gym, eating a salad every day for lunch, or cutting back/completely quitting bad habits are some of the most popular resolutions. If you want to make sure you stick to your game plan, here are 7, easy tips for slaying your goals.

I’m not big into New Year’s resolutions because I feel like making such a huge goal at the very beginning of a year can seem a bit daunting or unobtainable. Not that there is anything wrong with setting one, big resolution to achieve all year long, but I think it is also important to make small goals throughout the year. My body changes, my mind changes, and my attitude changes so I can’t expect to feel like I did in January in the middle of the summer.

Here are some motivating ways to stay strong throughout the entire year:

  1. Write down a weekly/monthly plan. What really helps me is my monthly planner. It’s beneficial to write down your goals or plans for the upcoming days, weeks, or month. I like to look at what workout classes my gym is offering and write down the times so I can always remember to make some time for fitness. There’s nothing like checking off your “to-do” list.
  2. Write down recipes or a weekly meal plan. Grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to do because I love food, but I don’t like having to go every, single day. Plus, grocery shopping can also be pretty costly. I recommend writing down a weekly eating plan so you know in advance what you will be cooking and eating. You can also make enough food to freeze and eat later or have leftovers for the following day.
  3. Get enough sleep. This is something so easy but yet, so hard. Sleep is such an important factor if you want to stay on top of your fitness and diet plan. It is proven that inadequate sleep can lead to overeating because your body wants sugar and carbs to stay energized. I know it can be difficult, but strive for 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. *Bonus:  I recently read an article about how adequate sleep can lead to more intimacy… that ain’t a bad thing.
  4. Drink more water. Many times we mistake hunger for thirst. Sometimes what we really need is a big glass of water to realize that we weren’t as hungry as we thought. I recommend drinking one glass of water before you sit down for a big meal. Plus, more H2O will give you a glowing, even complexion. Who doesn’t love beautiful skin?
  5. Limit booze, but always detox after a night out. I enjoy happy hour, my nightly glass(es) of wine, and going out with friends, but I know that boozing it up can lead to poor eating choices that night or the following day. What helps is detoxing your body first thing in the morning after a long night of drinks. Coffee + hot sauce is a powerful combo. According to an article in Women’s Health Magazine, a cup of joe (preferably black or really try to limit cream and sugar) and capsaicin which is found in chiles may help protect your liver. Not to mention, your colon will receive a wake up call. Spice up some eggs with Tabasco or add some hot sauce and chili flakes to a side of avocado on whole wheat toast.
  6. Nix the bad habits ASAP. Smoking cigarettes, drinking soda, eating fast food, fake tanning in tanning beds, and even picking at your pimples are bad habits that should be ceased immediately. For me to feel compelled to quit any bad habit, all I have to do is think of the long term effects. For example, I was a “social smoker” throughout high school and college but I definitely realized that I didn’t want to continue the habit when I would stop and think about how my skin would look years down the road. Beauty > buzz. Always.
  7. Reward yourself. Life isn’t perfect and we aren’t perfect either. Sure, you can go strong with your resolutions and then have a day or two where you slack off. Chill, it will be ok. I think it is important that we reward ourselves when we are being “good” and accomplishing our goals. Enjoy a once-a-week cheat meal, go out for drinks with friends on a Friday night, buy yourself those pair of shoes you have been eye-balling, take a day off from the gym, etc. Yes, it is good to discipline ourselves, but we must also enjoy life and not take things too seriously.

I hope you reach any goal you have made for yourself for 2016. You are your biggest cheerleader!

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