Courtesy Harley Pasternak
01/02/2013 at 09:00 AM EST
As the holiday season draws to a close
and we celebrate the New Year, another season begins: the season of weight loss commercials and health club promotions.
From Sensa to Alli, and Jenny Craig to Nutrisystem, we get bombarded with ads trumpeting it's "new year, new you" and "get skinny in 2013." With the staggering reality that most Americans are overweight, it should come as no surprise that the most common New Year's resolution for Americans is to lose weight.
However, studies show that 60% of new gym memberships never get used, and 20% of people give up on their resolutions after only a month. So what can we do to help ourselves stay on track? How can we resolve to keep our resolutions?1. Believe In Yourself
This one is a biggie for me
. If you start out on your mission expecting to fail, you will. Give yourself some credit and tell yourself, "I can do this. I will do this." I believe in you if you can believe in you!
2. Create a Routine
You're more likely to be successful if you plan ahead and set specific goals for yourself. At the start of every week, look at your schedule and carve out 25 minutes a day, five days a week, and dedicate that time to a resistance routine. That way, you're not thrown off of your plan by anything (work, family, traffic) life throws at you. Planning ahead goes for your diet, too. Pick a shopping day(s) each week and set an alarm on your phone to stay consistent with meal and snack times.
3. Enlist the Help of Friends and Technology
Friends are a great motivator! They can encourage you to stick to your plan and can offer support and even some healthy competition. Research even shows that weight loss is contagious! If your friends are losing weight, you're far more likely to do the same.
In this day and age, your best friend may be technology
. There are tons
of awesome apps, tech tools and exergames that can help you stick to your goals, motivate you and track your progress.
4. Do Away with Obstacles and Excuses
The less convenient it is to exercise and eat right, the less likely you are to be successful. If you join a gym 30 minutes from your home, let's be realistic – you're probably not going to go. Don't let that be an excuse; keep moving from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep! Walk around the block a couple of times when you wake up, during lunch, coffee breaks and after dinner. If you don't have healthy food options stocked in your kitchen, then it's easier to just say it's more convenient to order a pizza. Instead, plan ahead and make sure you have healthful ingredients around. As far as cooking – all you need is five minutes. Check out my books like The 5 Factor Diet
for a ton of five-minute recipes. If you're really time-crunched, try making a healthy smoothie with fresh ingredients. It only takes a minute to throw some ingredients in to a blender.
5. Focus on the Process
This is my number one tip for my clients – celebs
and stay-at-home-moms alike. Ever since we were kids we've been hard-wired to be goal-oriented. While it's great to have end goals, they can actually hurt our progress if they feel too out of reach or if we judge our success on the outcome of one goal. If you focus on the processes, methods and techniques you use working toward the goal, studies show you'll be more successful. Celebrate how hard you're working and how dedicated you're being, rather than how close you've come to an end goal. This technique is a great self-motivator.
What are your New Year's resolutions? Tweet me @harleypasternak
– and let me know.
Check back every Wednesday for more insider tips from celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak on Hollywood's hottest bodies – and learn how to get one yourself! Plus: follow Harley on Twitter at @harleypasternak