this is the beginningEvery holiday season, many of us find ourselves putting together a list of changes that we would like to make improvements to our finances, health, relationships or whatever the new cause may be. But this year, if your goal is improving your health or fitness, prepare yourself before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st! Lifestyle changes rarely come out of impulse, especially if you are looking for drastic and lasting change. This year, create your own success story by following these tips:

  1. Patience

Most radical changes come with time. And the time that you allot towards a goal requires perseverance and commitment to the task. Don’t underestimate the level of dedication that you need to store a fitness routine to habit and don’t forget that changes don’t happen overnight.

  1. Count your calories

While there is a science to how our bodies metabolize different foods – one thing is certain, if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Some foods are deceptive in how calorie-loaded they are, so if you write down your calories consumed versus calories expended, you can keep yourself on track. In 2018, try using a fitness tracker or calorie-counting app to help you maintain a record.

  1. Begin a food diary

One of the best ways to keep track of calories and stay on your game is to record what you eat daily. You can look at each days’ diet and make improvements for the next, using the previous day as a milestone to overcome. It helps with accountability to have your daily diet on paper.

  1. Stick with it for 66 days

A 2009 study by the University College London found that on average, it takes roughly 66 days to form a new habit. So while 66 days is just an average, you can use it as a goal to push yourself towards. Remember that lifestyle alterations take time to form to habit.

  1. Try out new gym workouts

On the subject of habits, it is easy to fall into habit at the gym. But throw your body off its usual routine and try new equipment or exercises. You can burn more calories and shed more weight by activating previously unused muscles. Before heading out to the gym, look up new moves to try on the machines or new exercises at the weight rack.

  1. Workout at home

Workouts don’t have to just be isolated to the gym. In fact, making changes to daily operations at home can lead to fitness gains. There are plenty of body-weight workouts and circuits that can be performed at home if you don’t have the motivation to get out of the house. Even while watching tv, you can always find a way to squeeze in a set of push-ups during commercial breaks.