How To Create Healthy New Year's Resolutions You'll Actually Keep

Certified Personal Trainer By Krista Stryker, NSCA-CPT
Certified Personal Trainer
Krista Stryker, NSCA-CPT is the author of The 12-Minute Athlete: Get Fitter, Faster, and Stronger Using HIIT and Your Bodyweight and a leading expert on HIIT and bodyweight fitness. She lives in Venice, California, and is a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

It's nearly 2014, and for many people, that means it's time to sit down and create New Year's resolutions for the upcoming year.

But while New Year's resolutions are no doubt made with the best intentions, most people go about creating them in a way that inevitably leads to failure and disappointment.

Yet New Year's resolutions can be useful: if you do them right, they can set you up right for the New Year and get you motivated and on track to accomplish your goals. Here's how to create New Year's resolutions you'll actually keep:

1. Make your goals measurable.

Making a resolution measurable ensures you'll actually know when you've been successful. For example, making it a goal to making it a goal to hold a freestanding handstand, work out at three times a week, or master certain specific yoga poses are all measurable goals and worthwhile New Year's resolutions.

2. Make them realistic.

Though you should always aim to reach your full potential in health, fitness, and life, you should at least know what you're getting into when you decide to make something a resolution.

For instance, while making it a goal to do a freestanding handstand push up by the end of a year is an awesome resolution, you should not only probably be able to hold a freestanding handstand already, but you should also understand the huge amount of strength and skill necessary to do a handstand push up and make sure you can properly devote a large amount of time to practicing.

Considering what it will take to accomplish your resolutions before making them is what helps ensure you're setting yourself up for success.

3. Make sure it comes from you.

Unsurprisingly, the New Year's resolutions that are most likely to succeed are the ones that mean something to you personally and come from a place of passion—not the ones someone else says you should do. For example, making a resolution to master the wheel pose because it's something you've always thought was really cool and wanted to be able to do is going to be a lot more motivating than deciding to lose 10 pounds because your spouse or doctor told you to. So make sure your resolution comes from within.

4. Don't make too many.

As is true with habit building in general, the fewer resolutions you make, the more likely you are to succeed. Building new habits is hard. Stick to just a few, meaningful things and you'll be much more likely to meet all your healthy goals this New Year.

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