Ever visited the grocery store the first week of January? Good luck getting your hands on any kind of decent tasting vegetable (yes, there is such a thing). The salad section looks like a sad desolate place of abandoned leafy greens that lay scattered across the shelves. Yes, ladies and gentleman, the New Year's resolutions are here but how long they stay is up to those making the declaration of "New Year, New Me." We are all guilty of making the proclamation to change and then falling off of the wagon at some point. I've asked the experts for the top tips for sticking with your goals this New Year. Let 2016 be your year for change.
Lose Weight and Get Fit:
According to Nicole Salerno of DietBet, of the 45 percent of Americans making New Year's resolutions, 21 percent are resolutions of weight loss. Ultimately, health and money are connected, since illness can lead to missed work and expensive heath care costs. Unfortunately, according to Salerno, only 8 percent actually achieve their health goal. It's always easy to believe that getting fit or reaching your ideal weight will come easy, when in fact it can be quite difficult. After one round for me at the gym, I'm wondering where my six-pack is. It'd be nice if it worked like that, wouldn't it?
Franklin Antoian, ACE personal trainer and founder of the online personal training website iBodyFit, gives some great tips including that walking is one of the easiest and most underrated ways to lose weight. You can burn as many calories as running and you just have to walk (about 3x).
No more ifs, ands or butts about it! Someone who smokes a pack a day could end up spending between $1,000 and $3,000 on cigarettes per year. Not to mention costs of additional health insurance and general healthcare. According to Jo Masterson, COO at 2Morrow, quitting smoking, even using a paid program or meds like patches, is almost always cheaper than smoking. She suggests using free resources that are offered my many state's Department of Health or programs offered by employers.
Kicking the nicotine habit is hard. Sometimes for habits like this or other lifestyle changes seeing a psychologist can help. "Know that changing how you think about whatever is bothering you, like smoking, weight, stress or happiness, will allow you to change your behaviors and reach your goals," says Dr. Bart Rossi, clinical psychologist.
Eat Healthier and Diet:
I once read if you want to really make a change in eating healthier and dieting then in fact you have to forget the "d" word in its entirety. Removing the word diet from your vocabulary allows you to focus on the new lifestyle you are creating for yourself. Rather than saying it's a new diet you are trying, focus on this being the new you and your new lifestyle. Don't think of this eating healthier plan as a temporary plan of action because that's exactly what it will become: temporary.
If you need help on meal planning or grocery services, try using a service like HelloFresh, which provides you with ingredients and recipes with a healthy focus. HelloFresh may not only save you money when it comes to your weekly grocery shopping but can help guide your nutrition plan with customized recipes.
If meal delivery, isn't an option for you, Loren Tipton, personal trainer at Gold's Gym, suggests making small sustainable changes to your grocery list. "Change out one unhealthy item every time you go grocery shopping and by next year you'll have an entirely new diet."
Get Out of Debt and Save Money:
It's easy to want to get out of debt. If wants were easy to get, then the world would be filled with wealth. The fact is that the things you want the most are often the hardest to get. Creating a budget will be the first step of owning your finances. Using apps like Mint, BillGuard and Pocket Expense can help you manage, monitor and track your spending. With Mint, you can even tie all of your accounts together for a complete view of your financial situation. Pay bills, set savings goals and monitor your retirement plan all from one app. Monitoring your finances like this and setting a budget can help determine where you are spending unnecessary funds. Instead, take your unnecessary spending budget and move it into a savings account where it can't be touched.
"Realize that you didn't get into debt overnight and it is going to take some time to get out debt. If you are willing to stay committed, you will slowly begin to climb out of debt and you will be very surprised with your results at the end of 2016," says Thomas Curran, author of "Millionaire Legacy.
Spend More Time with Family:
Something every family needs and every family wants is more time. It's always hard to balance work, social, love or whatever it may be to ensure that you have enough time with your family. Michael Bowman, clinical director of England Counseling suggests cutting back your hours if you are currently putting in 60 hours or more. "Make 2016 the year that you take back your life from the boss. The company can't own you! Do this by cutting from 60 hours to 50 right away. Once there, be fiercely loyal to your family time and cut back to 40. Expect push back for your boss. Don't give up. Plan. Be consistent. Enjoy the benefits. Your wife/husband and family will love you for it."
Family time is free. Try gathering for a family movie or have a family game night with the hot new Pie in the Face game or try out a classic like Uno. The best part of quality family time is making memories that you can't buy but will always cherish.
I'm going to close with a tip from Cara Bradley, an author, entrepreneur and teacher who says creating change takes time. "When taking on new resolutions, it's important to recognize it can be challenging to stay consistent with an unfamiliar routine. You may even feel clumsy. The advice I often give others seeking to create long-lasting change is to: Start small, stay steady, and build from there," she says. Good luck, everyone!
Kerry Sherin is a savings expert at Offers.com. She's a proud dog mom and yogi who always is on the hunt for the best deal. After all, two pairs of shoes are always better than one.
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