7 Women Share The Tools That Helped Them Actually Achieve Their New Year's Resolutions
Not to scare you, but we're coming up on resolution season. People are making lists (both mental and physical) and setting self-improvement goals like hitting the gym, cutting back on sugar, or even deleting the Twitter app once and for all.
But as you think about what habits you want to change in 2019, it's also important to think about how you're going to stick to those habits. We can set goals, but are there any New Year’s resolution tools that can keep us on track? After all, it's easy enough to say that you want to lead a healthier lifestyle, or make a huge change—but it's what you do in those moments of temptation every day that will make or break it.
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Thankfully, there are a lot of resources out there than can help you with your New Year’s resolutions, like apps, gadgets, journals, and more. But as you sift through them all (and there are so, so many) how do you know which ones actually work?
We decided to take this question to real people who have actually done the impossible: kept their New Year’s resolutions. That’s why we asked seven fit women what they used to help them meet their goals in 2019. These women set a variety of goals in the past year, from dieting to running a marathon, and all of them succeeded—thanks, in part, to these handy tools. This January, boost your willpower and make it easier on yourself with their suggestions:
Protein is a wonder nutrient—it keeps you full, promotes muscle growth, and helps you kill it at the gym and stick to your healthy diet resolutions. But it's not always convenient to whip out a chicken breast or steak instead of succumbing to the siren snacking call of the vending machine. That's why Marie H. of Chicago, Illinois says she relied on Quest Bars to help stick with her resolution of eating more protein and less junk food. "These bars have saved me from making really bad food choices, especially when I'm starving," she says. "Bonus: The birthday cake flavor makes it feel like a treat too." They pack 30 grams of whey protein and 14 grams of filling fiber but have less than one gram of sugar.
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Protein bars, .00,
Building new, healthy habits is the foundation of all New Year's resolutions. Yet setting the daily goals to make the habit is only half the battle—you actually have to do it to make it stick. Enter HabitBull. This free, simple-to-use app lets you put in your goals, categorizing and color-coding them so you'll never get confused. "I tried bullet-journaling and discovered that I suck at tracking things; this app makes it super easy to track my goals," says Jen S., of Baltimore, Maryland, whose resolution was to work out three times a week and track her calories. "If I forget to check something off it sends a reminder. I've even gotten out of bed to finish my step count goal just so I wouldn't break my streak!" You can customize what success means for each type of goal, like meeting a certain calorie goal or hitting the gym three days a week. Check in every day to see your progress.
A Goal-Tracking App,
Everyone, even the most elite athletes, gets bored with their workout sometimes. On a bad day, this boredom can lead you to skip your workout in favor of your couch and Netflix. Head off your lazy urges and keep your workout resolution with a good set of wireless earbuds, allowing you to make your workout more entertaining. "Sometimes watchingThe Good Placeis the only thing that keeps me on the treadmill," says Allie M., of Seattle, Washington. That's why she says wireless headphones helped her meet her goal of walking 10,000 steps a day and exercising more. "Plus I feel less guilty about binge-watching if I'm working out, too." A good workout option are these sweat-proof, budge-proof, bluetooth-enabled, Bose Sound Sport headphones. If you're looking for more options (including a more budget-friendly version), check out the best gym headphones.
How to start walking when you have 50+ pounds to lose:
Wireless Headphones, 0.00,
Getting organized and going to the gym are two common health resolutions. "It sounds lame but I've skipped the gym because I hate showering there and didn't want to go to my next appointment sweaty," says Nina K., of Dallas, Texas. Then she discovered the Glo Bag. "This bag makes it easy so I have no excuses," she says—and it's helped her meet her goal of going to the gym before work five days a week. The backpack-gym bag combo is meant to hang in a gym locker, keeping all your stuff handy and clean so you can be in and out in minutes. With separate pockets for shoes, clothing, toiletries, and workout supplies you'll never waste precious gym time looking for your socks again. (For days when you don't have time to shower after the gym, try from thePrevention Shop.)
An Organized Gym Bag, .00,
Running outside is a delightful pleasure for all the senses... unless it's January. And then it's just misery. Unless you live in Hawaii, cold temps can torpedo your New Year's resolution to walk, run, or hike outdoors. After all, if you wanted to ice skate you'd go to the local rink, not head out for a jog. But YakTrax Walkers Traction System can help you keep your feet solidly on the ground so you can continue to enjoy your outdoor workouts. Bonus: They fit over any athletic shoes or boots. "These helped me accomplish my goal of running a marathon," says Stevie L., of Minneapolis, Minnesota. "I could do my training runs outside even if the sidewalks were covered in snow and ice. I'm not doing a 20-miler on a treadmill, no way."
MORE: The Best Gear For Cold-Weather Walking
Winter-Proof Gear, .95,
Don't forget oral health when you're setting your health goals for the new year! Make your daily flossing a habit—for real, this time—by getting aWater Pik. This handy device is gentler and more effective than floss as it uses a jet of water to clean the nastiness out between your teeth. That's what helped Amy P., of Denver, Colorado, meet her goal of flossing every day. "I just set it up next to my toothbrush and now I never forget to floss," she says. "I don't have to lie to my dentist anymore!"
MORE: This Woman Tried On 2 Pairs Of Jeans In The Same Size To Prove That Clothing Labels Are Total B.S.
Water Pik, .00,
Night owl stuck in a morning lark's world? You're not alone in your morning frustration. Katie W. of Vancouver, Washington, recommends the Sunrise Simulation Alarm Clock. It gradually brightens to wake you in a more natural way and the light is set to mimic sunlight which can also help alleviate depression during those dark, early morning winter hours. "I really struggle with insomnia and getting my eight hours of sleep a night is hard," says Katie W., of Vancouver, Washington. That's why getting a good night's sleep—and waking up on time—was her big New Year's resolution of 2019. "But this light has really helped make waking up less painful.
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