Read This Before You Set Your Resolutions!

Resolved to lose weight or get in shape this coming year? Believe it or not, the first step has absolutely nothing to do with food or fitness. To start off on the right foot, you first have to make sure your head is in the game. Use these tips to set yourself up for success:

Be thankful. Each and every morning, take five minutes to jot down three things you’re thankful for, no matter how big or small. This will help empower you to make healthy choices, and it puts you on a positive path from the start. Keep in mind, a successful health journey is 50 percent attitude.

Maximize your motivation. Figure out why you want to achieve your specific goal. Really dig deep here—try to come up with reasons beyond “I want to wear a smaller size.” Maybe you want to be around to enjoy your grandchildren or you are hoping to reduce your risk for heart disease, which runs in your family. These reasons will help you stick with it when you’re tempted to go off track.

Love your body now. This might seem counterintuitive—after all, you are trying to change your body. But when you take a positive approach to lifestyle or behavior modifications, they’re more likely to stick. For instance, choose the salad over the burger at lunch because you want to shower your body with good-for-you nutrients—not because you want to punish yourself for having the double chocolate chip muffin at breakfast. It’s a small shift, but it offers a huge payoff.