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10 Ways Not To Fail At Your New Year's Resolution To Be Healthier

Who doesn't want to be healthier, though? Seriously.

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1. Don’t Diet. Do Not Diet. Please, Listen to Me When I Say NO DIET

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Diets don’t work. There is a ton of evidence out there supporting the idea that using a formulated diet like Atkins or Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers (oh God, don’t get me started on Weight Watchers and how you have to pay to be told your calorie intake in point value) doesn’t work. Don’t start off the New Year telling yourself that you aren’t going to eat carbs anymore. Or that fat free is the way to be. Nutritionally, carbs provide energy for the human body. So do not stop eating them. Fats? They’re good for the brain. So what do I suggest? I suggest replacing white carbs for wheat carbs or carbs in the form of quinoa or rice. I suggest eating healthy fats like nut butters and avocados. You’d be surprised with how much you can do with an avocado. For example, it can almost always replace mayonnaise.

2. Don't Deprive Yourself

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Do you know what repeatedly telling yourself not to eat the chocolate does? It makes you think of chocolate all day long. Trust me, I have gone quite a few days where I’d rather have chocolate than literally anything else. Keep a chocolate bar in your house at all times (preferably dark chocolate, because of those antioxidants). If you want some, break off a piece and put the rest of the bar away. This works for everything. You want ice cream? Okay, portion it out. Pizza? Who doesn’t want pizza? I live in a constant state of wanting pizza. Why don’t you try making your own pizza, so it’s a little healthier? Or have one night a week where you order in some pizza, but leave it to that one night.

3. Find New Recipes!

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If you want to journey into a new dietary lifestyle, look up some recipes. Find some food out there that looks delicious and then whip it up! Do you live with someone who can help you cook? If so, then definitely coerce them into it. Cooking with multiple people is a fun activity in itself, and the product is almost always delicious. And if not, it’s still a learning experience.

4. Find Exercise That You Don't Hate

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The worst feeling in the world has to be waking up and forcing yourself to go on a run or go to the gym. If you enjoy waking up and going on a run, then do it! But if not, then your New Years inspired exercise regime probably won’t last past January. Find something you enjoy. Try new things. Maybe you like yoga. Maybe you like boxing. Maybe you can see how Pilates feels. Or maybe you just really do like running. If that’s the case, then run your heart out!

5. Do Exercise. Don't Over Do It

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If you just aren’t feeling the gym one day, don’t go. Take a break. Don’t let that break become a pattern but don’t feel locked into your routine. Routine is good, but not allowing yourself a break isn’t. Everyone needs a breather.

6. Focus On the Things You Love

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For me, I love to write. When I’m working five days a week, I still try to weasel some time in there to write. For you? Maybe you like to paint. Find some time for that. My point is that mental health is as important as physical health. Don’t let it escape you. Take a sick day if you’re feeling overwhelmed with work. Yes, your career is very important, as well as your studies if you’re a student, but some people just need that one sick day to be a little happier. I’m not saying to get yourself fired, but just remember that there are things to life besides work.

7. Don't Stress If You Mess Up

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Did you eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s all by yourself while binge watching Scandal on Netflix? Did you forget to be healthy for a few days and become one with your couch? It’s OKAY. Stressing about anything is never good. Particularly because it releases certain steroids into your blood that don’t have the greatest effect. Don’t stress. Just take a breath and remember that tomorrow is a new day and you can pick up where you left off pre-Ben & Jerry’s.

8. Remember to Hang Out With Your Friends

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Now I know this is obvious. But if you’re like me and you’re busy all the time and you like to sleep when you can, then remember that though sleep is very important (see below), don’t forget that it’s not so bad to be a social butterfly. Maybe make some plans and write them down in a journal or planner so they become concrete. It might make it a little harder to justify canceling. And who knows? Maybe you might just have fun even though you're not watching Scandal (do you see a theme here? I’m a Scandal fan).

9. Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

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Most people know that sleep is good for you. But how good? Very good. Without proper amounts of sleep, you can spend your days in a haze. If your New Year’s resolution was to lose weight, a lack of sleep will make it much harder to accomplish. Sleep is also great because it stops all those worries and stressors that are swimming through your mind. It’s like your very own “let’s turn it off and turn it on tomorrow to see if it works again” button.

10. Stop Trying to Please People

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I cannot stress how important this is. You will be liked. You don’t have to pretend to be someone else in order to do it. It is hard to be someone that you’re not. If someone does not like you for you then that’s too bad for them. Don’t be miserable trying to make others happy. Just be you and the New Year will be a great one.

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