How to stick to your New Year’s resolutions: 3 simple tips that really work

You don't have to go to the gym to be fit. (Thinkstock photo)
You don't have to go to the gym to be fit. (Thinkstock photo)

Here we are at the beginning of February.

How are your New Year’s resolutions going, especially your health-related ones?

Are you still feeling motivated? Or have you already lost your determination?

If you’re like most people, it’s probably the latter.

But don’t be discouraged. There are still 10 more months for you to achieve your health goals for 2013!

As a health professional who has worked with thousands of clients, I’ve learned the keys to helping people achieve the results they want.

Here are three simple tips that will enable you to stick to those New Year’s resolutions:

1. Don’t be discouraged by slower-than-expected progress

Becoming lean and strong doesn’t happen overnight. This is especially true if you don’t use illegal steroids or go on fad weight loss diets.

Here’s the target to aim for: 0.5kg per week of fat loss. (A health professional will be able to determine your body fat using a variety of methods.)

Remember that fat loss matters much more than weight loss.

In the long run, if you lose more than 0.5kg per week (assuming all of this weight is fat), it’s actually bad for you.

You would end up with a poor metabolism, which means that you would just put the weight back on.

You would also have poor overall health, because you wouldn’t have the right amount of nutrients to maintain lean muscle, get rid of toxins, and have a strong immune system.

So, let’s say you want to lose 10kg of fat. That means you’ll need to work at it for 20 weeks.

20 weeks might sound like a long time, but remember that you didn't gain that 10kg of fat instantly either!

2. Manage your stress

Stress can play a part in problems like high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. It also affects you mentally and emotionally.

It’s nearly impossible to achieve your health goals if you’re continually stressed.

Here’s what you can do to manage your stress.

Sleep at least 7.5 hours of sleep every night. A useful tip to help you get to bed on time is to set an alarm for your bedtime. Try it out for yourself!

In addition, engage in relaxing activities at least three times a week. (Eating junk food doesn’t count as a relaxing activity!)

3. Surround yourself with supportive people

This is a wonderful reminder from motivational speaker Jim Rohn:

"You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."

This means that we become like the people we’re closest to.

Are you always hanging out with negative people who are constantly complaining? Or do you spend plenty of time with positive people who are passionate and hardworking?

Either way, you’re going to become just like them eventually.

This principle applies to your health, too.

If you choose to surround yourself with people who are physically active and who make healthy food choices, how would that affect you? And how would that affect your waistline?

On the contrary, if you surround yourself with people who eat pizza like it’s a staple food, drink beer like it’s water, and avoid exercise like it’s chickenpox, then you’re definitely not going to achieve your health goals.

In closing…

There’s still plenty of time left in 2013 for you to get in shape and get your health on track.

Follow these three tips and I guarantee you’ll be well on your way to making those New Year’s resolutions come true!

Coach Jonathan Wong is a respected health professional. He is also the Founder and CEO of Genesis Gym Singapore, which aims to provide the best personal training and fitness services in Singapore.