If you made a New Year's Resolution this year and as of today you're still sticking with it, congratulations! You owe yourself a pat on the back because statistics show that today is the day most people lose all motivation and fall off the wagon--or have already. I know it's tough to stick to your goals, especially when you're trying to break a cycle of behavior you've repeated day in and day out for months, years or even decades.

I have struggled with wanting to lose weight and my love of cake for years. In 2016 I decided that I had finally had enough. I was through with telling myself that I'd start a workout routine tomorrow. I was done telling myself that I'd have just one more sweet treat and then swear off of it cold turkey. I was a lot of talk and very little action. I'd take action for a few weeks and then fall off track. I had to change my brain and the way I thought about my goals before I was able to finally be successful. Here are 8 lessons I learned along the way.

 

1. Discipline is the hardest thing to develop and the easiest thing to lose.  The first time that I ever made it an entire month without having a cheat day, I couldn't believe it. I couldn't remember a time in my life where I had made it that far without having one moment of weakness. I felt this overwhelming sense of confidence and determination. I had felt the success of my discipline for the first time in my life. I had to make a million little positive choices to gain discipline. It took time.

2. Saying 'no' becomes your super power. It's funny because we're told in life to be open to adventure. We're told that we should say yes more often. But, when you know what result you want and you have a clear path of how to get there, then you absolutely know what you need to stay away from. Saying no to things becomes your super power.

3. A promise you make to yourself needs to be the most important thing to you. Usually the promises we make to ourselves are the first promises we break. Then, what happens? We lose self respect and trust in ourselves. It sounds so backwards. If you tell yourself you're going to eat healthy, then by George, do everything you can to keep that promise--or, don't make that promise. Be careful what you commit yourself to.

4. Get a buddy. My husband and I did a weight loss competition together. We knew that we needed to surround ourselves with people going through the same things we were. I am a huge believer that you will become like who you surround yourself with. We needed to be around people who were motivated and positive if we wanted to be successful. Having my husband along for the ride was key to my success. An addiction of any kind, even a food addiction, isn't something you should face alone.

5. Don't look at the mountain. I had a baby 15 months ago. I gained weight during my pregnancy after I worked so hard to lose it in 2016. I lost discipline and started feeling hopeless. I thought about the  huge mountain I had to climb the last time I lost weight and it felt so intimidating. If you think about the pain of the journey, you'll never start. Jump in, take things one day at a time and eventually time will get you there.

6. Conditions will never be ideal. If you're waiting until after the Super Bowl to get into shape, or after that big birthday dinner you're planning to have next week, or whatever it is, you'll likely never get there long term. Start today.

7. Choose common sense. When you set out to do anything there will be a million people telling you what they think is right. If it's weight loss you're seeking you'll find someone who will tell you to allow yourself to have one cheat meal per week. Someone will tell you that bananas are bad or onions are just carbs that will hinder you. Personally, bananas and onions weren't my problems before...my problems were cake, french fries, cookies and portion control. I had a food addiction, so a cheat meal was the worst thing I could have done. You wouldn't give a recovering alcoholic one drink every week, would you? NO. They're trying to BREAK an addiction. Use common sense with yourself. You know what's right for you.

8. Pick your pain. For me, I know it'll be painful getting back into shape. But, I also know that it'll be painful having to own up to my failure this time next year. Pick your pain.

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