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Excited about your New Year’s resolutions? Let’s see how long that lasts! We all have the best of intentions, but be honest with yourself – follow-through is another story. When was the last time you kept up a resolution for a full 365 days? If you’re really serious about changing things up in 2016, here are some tips and tools to help you resolve for success!

1. Frame It As A Positive

Don’t try to eliminate bad habits – create good ones! We all have room for improvement (to err is human, after all), so it’s important not to beat ourselves up about our shortcomings. In this new year, hone in on your goals. Want to lose weight? Don’t put yourself on a diet, but rather try tracking your macros. A diet sounds restrictive, like something you would want to cheat on. Instead, make it all about eating toward your goals. If you really feel like you need to cheat, then cheat clean! Find an indulgent way to satisfy your sweet tooth that doesn’t mess up your meal plan. Keep a few Quest Bars on hand at all times in case a sudden craving hits. (If you haven’t tried it yet, the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is delicious!) That way you’re getting beneficial fiber and a boost of protein instead of empty carbs and sugars.

2. Set Realistic Expectations

Dream big and shoot for the stars, but don’t set yourself up for failure and disappointment. You want to lose 100 pounds? Great, but it’s safe to say that won’t happen by the end of this week. You are in control of how much effort you put in and how hard you push, not how much the number changes on the scale each day. There are a lot of things happening in your body all at once – you’re burning calories, losing fat, and building muscle. Focus on what you can do in the short-term that will help you reach that long term goal. For today, maybe that just means you’re going to do 30 minutes of cardio. Just don’t be too easy on yourself – transformation is supposed to be challenging! 

Don't Drop The Ball After The Ball Drops

3. Keep It Simple

The world wasn’t created in a day, and neither are new habits. You may not be creating a new world, but new resolutions may still feel a bit (or a lot) overwhelming. Important to remember: start slow and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Eliminating cheat meals? You don’t need to quit cold turkey! It’s alright to indulge, on occasion, but keep your overarching goals in sight. Perhaps eliminate one item at a time, like no more potato chips. Or, better yet, make an informed, active choice to put something better in your body, like replacing those potato chips with Protein Chips. Over time, as new habits develop, incorporate more new things into your routine – one at a time!

4. Make It Real

The best way to keep yourself in check is by letting other people know what you’re doing, so tell a friend or family member. Not only will this help hold you more accountable, but they can also provide some much-needed support during the difficult times in your journey. You don’t have to go it alone! And you’ll probably feel more of an obligation to workout today if, for example, you have a standing commitment with your new gym buddy. Then, after your workout, you can help one another get the best post-workout results by finishing off the exercise with the right reward. For an extra-special protein shake, give Quest’s new Cookies & Cream powder a try. The little cookie crumbles in there are a total game changer.

5. Be Of Service

One of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to do something for someone else, with the expectation of nothing in return. While creating new, better habits for yourself, consider what you can do that will benefit others. Keep in mind, the intent of a good deed should not be for a pat on the back. There’s no need to share the in-depth story on social media, fishing for ‘likes’ and applause. Look into local resources, like a soup kitchen where you can help serve food and sweep the floors, or an after-school program where you can mentor youth in your community. And “doing good” doesn’t have to be an event. You can simply hold the door open for a stranger, smile at a passerby, give another car the right of way in traffic or even just buy someone a coffee. Simply put, you can do good to feel good and, in turn, use that positive spirit to work harder toward your own personal goals!