A January Challenge You Can Stick With!

By , SparkPeople Blogger
We're (finally!) entering the home stretch of the holidays. If you've been following along with our #SparkTheSeason challenge, we hope you've been creating and sticking with goals to keep you motivated throughout the month of December. But January is coming up fast, and if you're anything like us, you're probably starting to think about your goals for 2014. Whether or not you believe in making New Year's resolutions, you can't deny that January is a prime time to kick your routine up a notch after a few months of heavy eating, drinking and general merry-making. And what with the dreary weather and the warmth of the holidays behind us, a little extra boost of motivation after the first of the year can't hurt! That's why we’re introducing a brand new challenge for January, hot on the heels of our #SparkTheSeason challenge: #RockYourResolution!

Just like our #SparkTheSeason challenge, we're encouraging you to pick a goal of your choice for the month of January. The purpose of #RockYourResolution is to kick off a healthy goal that you can stick with all year long. No extreme crash diets or ultra-intense exercise regimes here; pick something that's doable for you that you can build upon into 2014! Every day in January, we will be posting daily tips and motivation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ using the #RockYourResolution hashtag so you can follow along. 

Here are four ways to participate (don't worry--you only have to pick one!):

1) Post to FacebookTwitter, or Google+ with the hashtag #RockYourResolution to let us know what your goal is and how your progress is going. Then, we'll serve up tips and encouragement to keep you headed in the right direction!

2) Comment on our pins on Pinterest, or pin your own personal goal-related images with the hashtag #RockYourResolution.

3) Every day, post an image specific to your goals on Instagram, using the hashtag #RockYourResolution.

4) Finally, if you don't use social media, start a SparkStreak and update your SparkPage status or blog every day to keep yourself accountable! 

So, who’s in for #RockYourResolution? Let’s start 2014 off right!
Not sure where to start with your goals? Here are some guidelines for creating successful resolutions:
  • Keep your goals positive. Rather than imposing restrictions on yourself like "stop eating sugar" or "quit watching TV," try resolving to add positive things to your life. For example, by committing to eat more fruit instead of banning sugar from your diet, you'll probably start replacing some of the sugar you're currently eating with the healthy fruit. It will also seem more fun since you're not actively denying yourself of anything—you're just adding a healthy choice to your life.
  • Be specific with your goals. The more detailed you can be about your goals, the easier it will be to stick to them! Your goal should be able to answer WHO, WHAT, WHEN and HOW. For example, instead of saying "I will lose weight this year," try ''I resolve to lose 30 pounds by next Thanksgiving. I will accomplish this by exercising four days a week while staying within my given calorie range." See the difference?
  • Make a system for tracking your goals. Whether you're resolving to count calories, exercise a certain amount per week, or drink a set amount of water per day, tracking can really help you adhere to your larger goals in bite-sized steps. SparkPeople Nutrition and Fitness trackers are a great way to do this!  
  • Plan, plan, plan! In order to reach big milestones, you will have to shuffle around your life a little (or a lot!) to accommodate for new changes. This might mean making some tough decisions, like forgoing your favorite TV show to go for a run, or cooking a healthy meal instead of swinging by the drive-through. When setting your new goal, make sure that you are 100% willing to make it a priority in your busy life—and then plan ahead of time to achieve it.
Need more tips? Check out our Rock Your Resolutions center to help you stay on track!

Psst! Don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterest, and Google+  for daily tips and encouragement!