Increasing Your New Year Weight Loss Resolution

New Year resolutions have a bad reputation – probably because many people have a few thoughts about what they might do and call them resolutions when they are not really resolved at all.

The good news is that research shows that when people make real resolutions, around 40% are still on track 6 months later. That’s probably a higher proportion than most people think.

So how do you give yourself the best chance of being in that 40% who are maintaining or getting closer to their goal?

Have You Made a Real Resolution?

Think about your resolution language.

Are you saying:

I want to lose weight
I should lose weight
I could lose weight
I can lose weight
I will lose weight
I am determined to lose weight
I am going to lose a stone in two months
I am going to drop 3 dress sizes by summer

The kinds of words you are using to make your resolution should be like those in the second half of the list.

Don’t worry if you’re not quite there yet, the rest of this article will help you.

Understand Your Motivation

Ask yourself a couple of questions:

What are the things that are important to me that are affected by my weight?

How will losing weight make my life better?

It’s worth spending some time thinking about this, you may even surprise yourself with benefits you have never really considered before. Write your thoughts down, and keep them in a place where you’ll be reminded of them regularly.

Short comments, for example on sticky notes dotted around the house, or on future pages in your diary, will help you stay on track.

Set Goals in Small Chunks

Whether your overall goal is to lose 10 pounds or 10 stones, break it down into bite-sized pieces. Tracey Walton, founder of Weight Loss Resources recommends mini goals of up to half a stone, depending on what suits you and the amount of weight you want to lose overall.

“Successes build confidence and determination, so give yourself the opportunity to celebrate them early and often.”
You can do this with other goals related to your weight loss, for example have an exercise goal that starts with the mini goal ‘Take a 10 minute walk, on three days of each week, for a month’.

Be a Friend to Yourself

Everyone lets it slide now and again. Imagine a phone call from your best friend, he’s feeling down because he’s had a blowout lunch and is a failure at trying to lose weight. You wouldn’t tell him he was hopeless and he might as well throw in the towel would you? You’d probably try to make him feel better, remind of him of how well he’s done so far, help him feel better about himself.

Be that good friend to yourself, don’t beat yourself up with negative self-talk. Think about what you have achieved and how you could get back on track.

Focus on Habits

It’s the things that you do habitually that shape your body.

If you regularly eat junk food because you’re too busy to plan ahead, or you sit down most of the day because of your job, or often get the munchies because you’re bored, or any other thing in your life that causes you to neglect your wellbeing – you have an opportunity to make some changes.

Small chunks are, again, the way to do it. Small changes in things that you do a lot of the time can add up to big differences in the sustainability of your weight loss resolution.

Give some thought to the things you do every day, what you eat and why, and how you could make a few changes that would work for you and your lifestyle.

Start with 1 to 3 of the changes you’d find easiest to make, when one becomes a habit (you do it on auto-pilot) introduce another change you want to make.

The WLR New Leaf Challenge 2015 is a tool to help you build habits proven to promote sustainable weight loss.

Fuel for Your Resolution

These are some ideas for changes that Weight Loss Resources Members have found helpful, in no particular order – different things work for different people and some of these may get you thinking.

Planning meals in advance
Using a strategy for eating out
Having shopping delivered
Eating slowly
Making packed lunches
Weighing Portions
Having healthy, low calorie snacks close to hand
Exercising at home
Batch cooking meals and freezing them
Limiting the number of high calorie snacks
Keeping a Food Diary
Being more active on a daily basis
Eating breakfast every day
Mindful eating
Eating more vegetables and fruits
Having a strategy for dealing with comfort eating

You can find lots more information and tools for evidence-based, sustainable weight loss at