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Ideas for Ditching National Ditch Your Resolution Day

It happens every January. Each year, the highly motivated make sincere resolutions to eat healthier and exercise more. Habitual exercisers scoff as the gym mirror they normally admire themselves in reflects fitness newbies with a resolution they’re determined to keep. And we can’t fault them—the new gym members, that is.

Don’t let naysayers get you down. Fitness buffs whine that their gym is too crowded at the beginning of this month, but rejoice when it’s back to normal by the end of it. Prove them wrong and stick with it—if only to take up their treadmill time. We’re rooting for you.

That said—now don’t panic—but tomorrow is Ditch Your Resolution Day. Many people use his lighthearted holiday as a means of squirming out of their New Year’s Resolution guilt-free. Every year, come January 17th, those who haven’t yet given up on their hopes for positive change finally succumb. But that doesn’t have to be you. Keep running or drinking protein shakes or whatever it is you’re doing, you budding gym rat, you.

Wouldn’t that feel great? To prove wrong the doubters who expect you to quit? Consider that the trick to keeping your resolution—whether or not it’s health related—may be to go easy on yourself and celebrate milestones along the way. Celebrate your achievements as you reach mini-goals. For instance, if your goal is to lose ten pounds in three months, treat yourself to a night out or a new pair of running shoes when you lose a pound or two.

Another method to keep you motivated for weight loss is to delay, rather than eliminate, foods you love, but don’t love you back. Fitness experts often recommend that dieters allow themselves one day a week—or one a month, for extremists—to eat whatever they want. Order dessert at your favorite restaurant. Drizzle butter over that air-popped popcorn. Savor the merlot you’ve been giving the stink-eye. You get the idea.

Overwhelming yourself with too many resolutions can also lead you off track. Simplify and clarify your list of resolutions as a remedy. Psychologists advise that setting one resolution is your key to keeping it. Focus your energies on the resolution most important to you and your health rather than spreading yourself, and your motivation, too thin.

Know this: when it comes to you and the snarky gym rats eyeing you in the locker room, we’re on your side. Tomorrow, show yourself all that you can accomplish in 2012 by ditching national Ditch Your Resolution Day.