It’s almost the end of January, and gone are the memories of clinking champagne glasses, distant melodies of Auld Lang Syne and laughing friends locking lips to bring in the New Year.
The fondness of the holidays are behind us, and most of us are starting to plan for tax season and looking forward to when the cold weather is behind us and we get to enjoy late afternoon walks and blooming flowers.
As the grind of everyday life is back in full swing, it might become more and more difficult to remember the other important thing you did over the holidays and New Year’s – oh yeah! That commitment … that goal … that, what was it called? Right … your New Year’s weight loss resolution and commitment to get healthy.
So if that promise to yourself is starting to fade into the dark corners of your mind and you find yourself starting to return to old habits, stop right there. There’s no need to give up or give in to your pre-holiday self.
Rather, read through this list of 3 ways you can use social media to restore your New Year’s weight loss resolution. These tips will help you continue holding yourself accountable and not give up on the healthy, fit person you have spent the last 30 days striving so hard to become.
That’s right. How many times have you been told that finding a support net is crucial to maintaining your goal schedule? And it’s so true. Think of someone you know who has overcome some major challenge in life. If you ask them, they’ll almost assuredly tell you that they turned to friends, families, teachers, co-workers or even therapists to ensure they would be continually motivated and stay on track.
In a digital age that requires you to balance constant communication with work and virtual social circles with finding time to call friends on the telephone or meeting in person, it can be tough to engage your support systems in a meaningful way.
That’s where Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and your other favorite social media channels come into play. In a study released earlier this month, researchers found that the more people tweeted and re-tweeted about their weight loss experience, the more likely they were to stay motivated and on-track with their goals.
Using hashtags like #weightloss, #healthy, #diet, #fitness and #nutrition allow you to follow feeds that provide important information about the best ways to stay healthy and lose weight.
In addition, using Twitter and your Facebook or Google Plus status updates to document your journey will get others rallying behind your cause, encouraging you and complimenting your success. Social media channels also allow others to share their experience, divulge tips for success and coach you through mistakes.
A massive social community at your fingertips will not only give you a feeling of camaraderie, but can also give you that extra push you need to move past any desire to give up.
At this point, it can be tough to maintain a schedule with taking pictures of yourself, logging every calorie, re-motivating yourself or tallying up your goal list. But that’s what you’ve got to do. And again, you can turn to your social media kingdom for help.
Pinterest has tons of fun, healthy recipes, motivational posters, fitness routines and even before-and-after photos of success stories. Our boards alone can give you all sorts of fun facts, quotes, recipes and fitness tips you need to keep going.
Apps like Instagram allow you to snap your weekly photos and keep them in a personal online account. You can look at them just for you, or share them with the world to document your progress.
It may seem frustrating and redundant, but studies show that keeping a food journal is a tangible way to track your progress that will make you way more successful than your fellow weight-losers who don’t. So keep logging those calories using your virtual food journal apps like MyFitnessPal, LoseIt and FitDay.
And one other thing, go through some fun motivational posters online, print it out and hang it up on the wall. Or, if you want to make it a fun afternoon activity with the kids, buy some poster board, markers and glitter and re-write the words in your own way.
In the wide Internet realm, you can research almost anything ... connect with almost anybody. Among the masses of information, photographs, recipes, magazines and everything else are bloggers, and they're out there to share their experience with you on an intimate level you will often find resounds deeply with your own experience.
One of the most popular areas of blogging are those sharing their weight loss struggles, successes and journey to make a change towards healthier living. Some of our favorites include blogs like Skinny Emmie, Double Chin Diary, Runs for Cookies and Monica Wants It.
Their stories of commitment to change and journey to a healthier lifestyle provide more than just inspiration, they allow you to connect with others sharing your goals on a deep level. At times they will make you laugh, at other times make you may feel sad, but rest assured, you will always find a common interest and understanding of how their weight loss journey connects with your own.
A list of some of the most influential weight loss bloggers will give you the ability to find a blogger or two who you connect with best. Follow them and read about their journey to find the motivation you need to continue on your own.
It’s been a month, and if there was ever a time to reflect on what you’ve done and how you got to this point, now is it. This approach doesn’t mean spending two minutes saying to yourself, “Huh, I did really well this month,” or “Yikes, I could’ve done better.”
It means sitting down this Saturday (or whenever you can budget your time for it) for a couple hours and looking back over your goal lists, progress-tracking charts and photos to really appreciate your progress and to remind yourself what you did to get here.
Reflect on all the steps you took that brought you to this point. Remember all those times you told yourself to stay away from the junk food and really did. Think about that extra activity you engaged in and how amazing you felt at the end of a fitness routine.
Remind yourself of the sheer jubilation when you saw the numbers on the scale going down. You deserve to acknowledge the steps you have taken towards success and be proud of those steps.
Then, take a moment to consider the challenges you had. Maybe one week you didn’t see the weight loss you hoped for. Or perhaps you gave in to old food temptations one weekend. Possibly you forgot to track your calories one day.
Whatever the struggle was, go back and think about what happened that day that made the journey more difficult. It’s okay to make a mistake, but acknowledging and reflecting on that mistake is crucial.
Write down the struggle. Document it with words and try to find a solution. Problem solving not only gives you direction on what to change, but also empowers you to push past your mistakes, not beat yourself up and move on.
Once you’ve taken the time to peer over your tables, ruminate about all your amazing accomplishments and brainstorm solutions to mistakes you’ve made, rejuvenate that excitement and self-confidence you had when you first started.
Update your Facebook status with it, tweet it for the world to hear, even call up a friend or loved one and tell them about it. You will likely get a very encouraging response that will make sticking to your New Year’s weight loss resolution feel more attainable than ever.
Author: Caitlin Hendee
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is a journalist by trade and an avid runner. She is passionate about maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle and encouraging people to engage in common-sense eating. Caitlin believes a well-rounded life is all about balancing fitness with nutrition that incorporates all aspects of food and proper portion-sizes.
Follow Caitlin on Twitter @CaitlinHendee.