Guest Post by Paige Johnson of LearnFit.Org

Each year, when New Year’s Eve rolls around, we make a series of promises to ourselves. We promise that we’ll get a promotion. We promise that we’ll make new friends and get better grades. More than anything, though, we promise ourselves that we’ll make healthier choices.

According to Statistic Brain, 41 percent of Americans “usually make New Year’s resolutions.” Of these resolutions, 21.4 percent revolve around losing weight and healthier eating.

Unfortunately, only 9.2 percent of people believed they were successful in meeting their resolution. More than 48 percent of people have infrequent success, and more than 42 percent never succeed.

What makes the difference between someone who maintains healthy habits throughout the year and someone who doesn’t?

Let’s explore some of the most tried and true methods Americans have used to make healthy decisions all year long.

  1. Hold Yourself Accountable

Did you know that people who make resolutions each year are ten times more likely to attain their goals than those who never make resolutions at all? The idea is that, if you hold yourself accountable for making changes in your life, you are far better off than someone who refuses to hold themselves accountable.

This means the very first step is realizing that something needs to be done. The second step is making a commitment to change.

You can hold yourself accountable by joining a gym with a twelve-month membership (keeping you from quitting after the first month without losing a significant amount of money), sharing your weight loss plans with friends and family (who will expect to see progress), and downloading fitness applications that make it easier to track your calorie intake and exercise.

Tracking applications are the backbone of modern healthy lifestyles. Smart watches that can count your steps, smartphones that can track your calories and nutrition, and special running shoes are all forms of new technology that can make the healthy habit process more exciting. For the first time, we can see  progress being made without a scale.

  1. Try New Methods of Exercise

Mastering healthy habits involves a dynamic duo – healthy eating and exercise. For many, one pillar comes far easier than the other.

If you struggle to enjoy exercise (which will eventually keep you from doing it), there are some scientifically proven ways to make the process more enjoyable. According to Real Simple, these methods include listening to music, exercising outdoors, encouraging yourself, and working out with a partner.

If these methods aren’t working for you, consider finding an entirely new exercise method. If you want an exercise method that burns hundreds of calories in a short amount of time (and you hate sweating through a workout), the answer is likely swimming or water aerobics.

According to Fitday, swimming is an excellent workout if you want to burn calories without building a significant amount of muscle.

Have you ever felt exhausted for a long period of time after a workout – almost as though your body is still burning calories? That’s because it is. As your body attempts to return your core temperature to normal, it continues to burn excess calories. After a water workout, you won’t feel this sensation. Calorie burning slows and stops just after you leave the pool.

  1. Pick a Partner

In a 2015 article, Live Science shared information about a study that suggested couples who work together to maintain healthy habits have more successful outcomes.

This is likely true because working with a partner on all parts of a healthy lifestyle (rather than just exercising) makes it easier to hold one another accountable and encourage one another to succeed.

Fortunately, you don’t have to have a significant other to reap the rewards of working with a partner. You can make a commitment with your sibling, your best friend, a partner, or a co-worker. Simply having someone that is experiencing changes with you will make the going less tough.

Creating and maintaining healthy habits isn’t easy – but the changes are possible when you make smart decisions about your surroundings, your methods, and your technology.

Good luck!

This information is for general purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.  Health Coaching is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a qualified, licensed professional.

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