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Health

Here's How To Keep Healthy Habits All Year Long

Let's turn your resolutions into lasting lifestyle changes.

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Many of us set out to make positive changes to our eating and exercise habits at the start of the year, but it can be hard to stay motivated as the excitement around the new year dies down.

So we asked the BuzzFeed Community to share their best tips for sticking to healthy resolutions year-round. Here's what they said.

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2. Make small, healthy swaps in order to build habits.

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"Tiny steps. What’s helped me is just understanding that progress is eating a few pieces of candy instead of whole bags, or spending an extra five minutes walking my pup." —Stephaniebc3

3. Make motivation unavoidable.

Sabrina Majeed, Getty

"I keep a Post-it on my mirror so that every morning I am reminded of my goals and my ‘why.’ It helps me reaffirm what I’m doing every day so the newness of the journey doesn’t wear off. It’s easier to work towards my goals knowing that every day is ‘day one’ of the journey!" —Jennis40210a702

4. Set out to learn one new skill or hobby.

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"Instead of just going to a gym, I chose a new hobby: MMA-style self defense. I have a trainer to keep me accountable and a great group of new friends who will heckle me if I miss a day. Mostly, I keep with it because I love it. Pick a sport or activity that you really enjoy and in no time at all you will find working out has become a part of your routine that you look forward to." —Annabelle86

5. Leverage your existing relationships.

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"Try to start a healthy eating plan with someone you care about. That way when you feel tempted to cheat you won’t, because it would feel like betraying that person. Your friendship/love is stronger than any cravings you might have!" —Marylima93

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6. Track your progress in a bullet journal.

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"I keep a habit tracker so I can visually see a chart of all of the things I’m doing (and not doing). I’ve also been using my Fitbit to log my exercise and daily step count, which I then log in my bullet journal. I could not recommend bullet journaling enough. Stick with it, and it can change you’re entire mindset and attitude." —Catevf

7. Help someone else reach their goals in order to stick to your own.

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"I became a fitness coach with Beachbody so that I wasn’t just a participant; I was responsible for helping others stay accountable, too. Running challenges and working towards fitness class teaching certifications keeps me motivated to keep pushing towards my goals!" —Cassiem46be4fe6c

8. Embrace setbacks as a necessary part of the process.

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"Remember that setbacks — whether that be missing a workout or not seeing the results you want even though you’ve been doing all the right things religiously — are part of the process. A single moment can neither define nor undo a journey." —Erenah

9. Channel your political energy into exercise ammunition.

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"I like to turn on the news during my workout because it enrages me so greatly that I go high intensity just to alleviate my anger. I started working out during my lunch break on November 9, 2016, and have worked out every weekday during lunch since. Who needs pre-workout when you could just read the New York Times?" —Emagee

10. Document your positive changes.

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"I write down what I eat, and take a picture of myself every day. Being able to see and track my results keeps me motivated and excited for my fitness journey." —Jessferg1011

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11. Recognize that there's power in numbers.

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"I attend fitness classes at my gym. I’ve realized that I don’t push myself as hard when I’m working out at the gym by myself, but fitness classes give me an opportunity to try to keep up with others while also finding people in the class that motivate me to push harder and to not give up." —Gina1912

12. Fill your rest days with inspiration.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed, Via shop.buzzfeed.com

"If for whatever reason I can't get to the gym, I try to do SOMETHING to make sure that I'm excited about getting back on a bench tomorrow. I might watch some YouTube videos of a new lift I want to learn, look for new supplements to try, find some new workout gear on Amazon, or look for new healthy recipes. Sometimes if none of that is doing it for me, I'll just look at pictures of people that I want to look like." —Crystal Wynne

13. If you're able to, invest in an "athleisure" wardrobe.

Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

"Buying exercise clothes and actually wearing them around. You are more likely to work out since it makes you feel weird to take off clean workout clothes." —Shepard Saulsberry

14. Start with one day a week and build up from there.

@_juliet_morgan_ / Via instagram.com

"Instead of eating those bacon, egg & cheese breakfast sandwiches every day, I suggested that my husband eat oatmeal just one day a week. That was his first step. After a couple of weeks, he decided on his own to eat oatmeal twice a week. He liked how it made him feel, so he started making one small healthy change every two weeks. It snowballed to the point where he eats mostly healthy now, has lost weight, and feels better." —Annie Jones

15. Do whatever you can even if you can't always do The Most.

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"I have a disability and chronic pain, and take a lot of lifesaving medications that make me gain and retain weight. Compounding this problem, and like many others with disabilities, exercising and preparing healthy food can use more energy than I have. When I’m able, I’ve been focusing on eating vegetable-based, filling meals because I know my body feels better if I do. I also signed up for a community aquaerobics class to get my body moving this winter, in a low-impact and safe environment." —Kayjaylg

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16. Set out to prove your skeptics wrong.

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"I’ve been able to stick to Whole30 just through the motivation of people telling me that I’m crazy and trying to get me to break. It’s a matter of showing myself and others that I am both mentally and physically strong." —Ellennbctz

17. Try to think of your workouts as the reward, not the punishment.

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"I changed my mindset. It was no longer about getting down to a certain number on the scale for me. It became about how good I feel during and after my workouts. When stressful things happen to me, I turn to workouts to clear my head, because for that two hours or whatever, I’m not focused on what’s going on in my life. I’m instead focused on getting through the workout. This has also helped me kick my emotional eating habit, since I rely on the gym now instead of food when I’m stressed or upset." —Baileys4209b11d5

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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