One month in, and we’re usually at the time when people give up on their resolutions with disgust and despair. But wait! Before you quit and decide you’ll try again next year, try a few of these tips to help you get back in the game and stick to your goals.

First off, start small.

So you decided to lose 20 pounds, cut out alcohol, and go vegan? Those are admirable, but wow – that would really hard to do all at once. You’re not just trying to lose weight or eat better; you’re completely changing all your habits at once. That’s just not sustainable. Instead of making big changes, start small. You want to lose 20 pounds? Use a calorie-tracking app, or join a program like Weight Watchers. These can help you lose weight in a healthy way, without crash dieting or extreme workouts. As for dietary changes, try to transition gradually. Start practicing your change one day out of the week, then two. Eventually you’ll have implemented it full-time, and done it in such a way that its now an ingrained habit.

Think Big

Ok, it sounds contradictory, but stay with me – sometimes, you’re going to get home from work and be completely drained. You won’t want to feed your pets, much less yourself. So you order pizza, or Chinese, or something that “breaks” your diet. The next day, you feel horribly guilty and just give up your lifestyle change because you’ve obviously already failed. Not so fast! That’s what I mean by think big. Sure, you had some unhealthy food Thursday night. So what? On Friday you’ll go for a jog, and eat a homemade parfait for breakfast, and you’ll be right back on track! Remember, you’re in this for the long haul, so don’t let the occasional slip up get you down.

Make It Easy

Oh, so you found this great gym that offers a ton of classes with great instructors and it’s only 20 minutes away? Stop right there. How often are you going to want to spend 20 extra minutes in the car to go make yourself work out? Between traffic, and working late, and getting up early, your goals are going to fall by the wayside. Sign up for a class at the gym down the street, or go for a jog in your neighborhood. The hardest part of going to the gym is getting there – so make that as easy as possible! As for cooking – while those hour and a half long recipes may provide a nice feather in your cap, who has time for that 5 nights a week? Look into 20-minute meals, or 5-ingredient recipes. Fast and simple, they’ll encourage you to cook rather than sit on the couch and order out. Then, once you have a few favorites, create meal plans and shop accordingly. You’ll have the ingredients, you’ll have the recipes, and you won’t have any excuses.

Remember – setbacks don’t equal failure; they’re just a little stumble on the path towards a happier, healthier lifestyle.

Image Credit: Mike Baird