Any time of year can be the right time to lose weight, get more exercise, and eat well, right?
Perhaps your doctor said you’d better do x, y, or z or you’ll have to take medication or have a procedure. Or maybe you just want an enhanced sense of wellness and self-esteem.
Now is the time to get with the program. The sooner you form wholesome habits, the better!
How to Stick With Your Health and Fitness Goals
1. Be specific. What do you actually want to accomplish and when? Do you want to lose ten pounds, eat more whole food plant-based recipes, drop your cholesterol by 20 points; or be able to do 30 push-ups in three months? Figure that out and write down your goal(s) on 3 x 5 cards.
Post your goals on your bathroom mirror or carry them with you in your pocket or purse. According to scientific studies, this simple act of writing your goals can make a big difference.  Read them – several times a day!
2. By the same token, weigh yourself every day. You’ll have a harder time mindlessly eating since you’re aware of your most minute weight changes and are more likely to pay attention. This technique works! Try this free chart. 
4. Plan your meals ahead of time using the Weekly Meal Planner and shop for the week. Keep it simple. Repeat what works for you and keep food “temptations” off your buy list. Walk right by poor food choices in the market and don’t what you can’t resist. Remember to choose fiber-rich vegetables and whole grains that will keep you full.
5. Make salads easy. Prep salad greens when you arrive home. Cut off the ends, rinse, and put into a bowl and into the frig. Then when you want a salad it’s a snap. Purchase beautiful bowls that make you want to eat a large salad.
6. Watch a motivational movie such as “Forks Over Knives” or “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” There’s nothing like an emotional movie to pump up your motivation molecules.
7. Eat a little something before that party to help lessen your appetite and give you extra resistance to food temptations.
8. Exercise early in the day. Or break up your workouts into smaller chunks and you’ll get similar health effects. A 15-minute walk before or after a meal lowers your blood sugar. 
9. Stand up every hour. Just sitting can negate the effects of your workouts. Reducing sitting time may protect your DNA and contribute to a longer life.  Set your phone alarm to help you remember to move around. Even a few jumping jacks can make a huge difference.
10. Get enough sleep. Studies have shown that lack of sleep will make you more likely to overeat.  Lack of sleep also makes it more difficult to work out. Aim for eight hours per night in a dark room. Keep lights low and electronics off for at least an hour before sleep. Or, use one of the blue-light blockers available for computers and phones, such as f.lux. Your phone might also have a built-in blue-light blocker that you can set up.
11. Buy a pedometer to track your steps as a reminder that you need to move. A goal of 10,000 steps per day is recommended.
12. Get moving any way you can. Sign up for a fitness class and put it on your calendar, put a fitness app on your phone, or purchase a few simple weights and elastic bands for home use. It’s amazing how getting your blood pumping can boost your spirit and provide immediate positive reinforcement. Lay out your workout clothes and gym shoes the night before. Staying active will be a habit before you know it!
13. Be social with your goals and share them with a friend. Set aside a time to talk or email with others about your intentions and aspirations. Research shows that people who share their goals were on average 33% more successful in accomplishing them than those who merely wrote them down. 
Make It Happen!
Good luck with your health and fitness goals. Forming healthy new habits takes time. Be patient and gentle with yourself and whatever you do, don’t give up!
YOU GOT THIS!