LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For many of us, a new year means a fresh start. After 2020, that's something we all need.
The start of a new year also means a new set of goals we want to achieve. Whether we want to improve our health, fitness or finances, we make a list of New Year's resolutions and promise to make them a priority.
However, most of us lose the motivation to reach those goals pretty soon after the year starts. If that sounds like you, here are some tips from experts on how to stick with your resolutions in 2021.
A lot of people say they want to reach some kind of health or fitness goal in the new year. In fact, 59% of people who participated in a WalletHub study about New Year's resolutions last year said they wanted to exercise more, and 48% of them said they wanted to lose weight.
Meteorologist and resident exercise expert Kaitlynn Fish shared the following tips on sticking with your fitness resolutions:
1. Make a schedule
Regardless of what kind of goal you have, you'll be more likely to do it if you make it part of your daily routine.
"Maybe it's every day, maybe it's every other day, but budgeting time for your workouts is really going to help you stick to that schedule," Fish said.
2. Have an accountability partner
Doing challenging things is always a little easier when you have someone coming alongside you. Reach out to someone you know will keep you accountable and help you achieve your goals.
3. Break big goals into smaller steps
Setting a big goal for yourself is great, but you could lose hope if it feels like that goal is out of reach. To stay motivated, try to break your goals down into attainable steps.
Fish said that if you're hoping to lose 100 pounds, don't focus on that number. Think about it as aiming to lose 10 pounds per month instead.
"When you hit those milestones, you'll feel really good about what you accomplished," she said.
Good health isn't just about exercise - it's also important to eat well.
Changing your eating habits can be tough, but it's a change a lot of people want to make - around 54% of people from that same WalletHub survey said they had goals related to eating better.
We talked to Head of Nutrition and Wellness at WW and Registered Dietician Jaclyn London MS, RD, CDN for her tips on eating better in the new year.
1. Start where you are
Everybody and every body is different, so a lifestyle that works for your friends or coworkers or even your favorite celebrity may not be the best fit for you. Just because something is the latest fad or trend doesn't mean it will be the golden ticket to your success.
"What really is going to work for you long term is something that really works for your lifestyle, not in opposition to it," London said.
2. Don't fall victim to "fad" diets
Extremely restrictive diets may help you reach your short-term goals, but these fads are not meant to be sustained for life. Reaching your goals should feel challenging, but shouldn't make you feel miserable.
London put it well: "Anything that feels like torture isn't worth it."
3. When in doubt, add more produce
There are thousands of diet plans out there, but if you're feeling overwhelmed, London has a simple suggestion: add more produce.
Adding a serving of fruit or vegetables to a meal or snack you were already planning to have will help make it that much more nutritious - and more satisfying.
2020 was a tough year financially for everyone due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you're hoping to get your finances back on track in 2021, you're not alone.
We spoke to Bobbi Rebell, a personal finance expert at Tally to get some ideas on where to start.
Rebell's first suggestion is to focus on the things that you can control and be easy on yourself for the things you can't, particularly after everything that happened last year.
"A lot of us had to make decisions that weren't really decisions," Rebell said. "They were forced on us."
Complete a financial audit of 2020 and see where your money went. If possible, look at 2019, too, and compare the two years.
Rebell said looking at your spending can show you what you need to prioritize, and what things you can live without. Things that you thought were necessities in 2019 may not be as important to you now.
"Go forward that way, knowing yourself a lot better and not worrying about what other people are doing," Rebell said.