6 Surefire Ways to Make Your Resolution a Reality

By , SparkPeople Blogger
There's no time like January to start fresh! It may be the dead of winter, but everyone's spirits are up and our willpower is in full force. We are ready and committed to make a change.
As a fitness instructor, I love this time of year. The energy in the gym is contagious and the classes are packed! And as a SparkPeople employee, it's a great time, too. So many new people find us and join our site to reach their goals!
But as you probably know, this New Year motivation fades quickly. It's easy to give up on your goals when you don't have a plan, don't have support, or don't have a realistic way to keep yourself motivated. Let's vow to make this year different. Let's commit ourselves to just one simple goal to keep our focus. You might not be able to do everything on your giant list of goals, but you can be successful with one or two things when you have a good plan in place.

SparkPeople has a lot of fun, simple and effective challenges that are the perfect way to get started and stay motivated. I would recommend choosing ONE program listed below to focus your efforts, but if you're feeling extra motivated, try a couple! Don't worry: You can join in the fun any time, even if you can't commit to everything you'd like to do at once. These are all great ways to hit the ground running in January!  

Winter Wellness Workout Challenge 
(EDIT: Please note that this challenge is no longer available on the site. The link below will take you to our Challenge Central page, with lots of other challenges to choose from!) Our Winter Wellness Workout Challenge will whip your butt (and legs and arms and abs) into shape in just 30 days—without using any equipment other than your own body! If you love following a structured fitness program and want a combination of cardio and toning workouts, then this workout challenge is for you! In addition to daily workout challenges delivered to your inbox, you'll also get some simple tips to keep your diet on track for optimal results.

 Get a Jumpstart on Your Fitness Goals
Every year, we offer a fun workout challenge, along with motivating prizes, to get you off to a strong start with your fitness goals. Our January Jumpstart fitness program is: easy to follow, boredom-busting, appropriate for all fitness levels, and simple enough to stick to for a month, which is about the time it takes to build a new fitness habit. Join the fun this month and you could win a $250 gift certificate to amazon.com, plus be eligible for other fun prizes! Everything you need to jumpstart your fitness this January can be found right here. (You will need a pair of dumbbells to follow along with the prescribed videos, too.) When you sign up, you'll get the workout plans delivered to your inbox each week.
Commit to 30 Days of 'Fit Food'
If your diet needs more attention than your workouts, check out SparkPeople's 30-Day Fit Food Challenge. We launched this challenge for the first time in the fall and received an overwhelming response! The whole point of this challenge is to stick to a healthy diet all day long for a whole month. We offer tons of great breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas via weekly meal plans delivered to your inbox, plus you'll get mini nutritional challenges throughout the month to complete. It's all about healthy portion sizes and eating more of the foods that are great for you!

Step Into 2014
Members who own a Spark Activity Tracker are eligible for special challenges (and prizes) every month—it's one of the many perks of buying and using the Spark. January's challenge will keep you moving and grooving all month long so you burn calories and get fit! Everyone who accumulates 62,000 steps in the month (roughly 2,014 steps daily according to the Spark) will earn a virtual trophy and be entered to win one of FIVE prize packs (all four SparkPeople workout DVDs)! (See contest terms.) Fun challenges like this happen every month and are open to everyone who has a Spark Activity Tracker. It's not too late to join in the fun for January: Order your Spark Activity Tracker today for a little extra motivation to stay active this season (and beyond).

#RockYourResolution This Year!
We want to help you reach whatever goals you've set for 2014, so all month long, we're running a social challenge called #RockYourResolution. The idea is simple: Do something every day to proactive work toward your goals for the year. Tell us about it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and even in your SparkPeople status updates with the #RockYourResolution hashtag, and we'll cheer you on! Get all the details here! And for more tips to reach any goal this year, check out our Resolution Rehab center, which is full of tips and motivation to help you stay on track.
Create Your Own Challenge
If you didn't find a goal or challenge above that fits you, don't fret! Consider one of our many other challenges to get off on the right track. Your customized  SparkPeople Start page lets you set and track up to six custom goals each day. (How fun is that!) Or maybe you start your own daily streak by setting a simple goal and seeing how many days in a row you can achieve it. Some ideas might be: eating within your recommended calorie range, drinking your 8+ cups of water, just saying no to soda, or stretching every day. When you set a goal, post about it publicly on your SparkPage, blog or even on Facebook. Then ask your friends to help hold you accountable, and check in every so often to let people know how you are doing. Even if you feel like you're the only one working toward something, you'll be surprised how many people will encourage you!
Which of these new challenges sparks your motivation? How are you planning to stay on track to reach your resolutions this year?