One night, after my class ran late, I was running late to yoga Sculpt class. Instead of being late to it, I decided to just hop on the treadmill at my school's gym, maybe run off some of that weekend pizza that I had indulged on. When I got to the gym, I found out a lot of other people had the same idea. But then I remembered it was January, the first of the three months of fit-insanity. The rest of the months, the gym was filled with people who had kept their ideal lifestyle going. So how do you keep your New Year's Resolutions?

 If you think about it, mid-winter is the worst time to start exercising. It's cold outside, so you have to go to the gym, sit on a stationary bike, and then eat frozen vegetables, since buying the fresh, organic veggies would require taking a loan out. 

I used to, basically, strap myself to the treadmill in hope of running away from my thigh insecurities. I knew about the eb and flow of the gym. Oceans of people would flow in the gym, with an amazing sense of energy, but those same people, three months later, would go to the front desk, and shamefully, end their membership because they just do not have time.

Why? Where did that energy go? Weren't they getting more energy by living a healthier lifestyle? Or were they using up energy trying to live an unattainable lifestyle? 

What is making many race off the gym but then crash and burn? Making no headway, besides three months of misery?

It's because we approach it with the wrong way of thinking. We associate pleasure and pain with the wrong things. If you have a lot of pain associated with going to the gym, then your willpower will run out at times, and you won't go to the gym. 

Your New Year's Resolution doesn't have to be to get fit. I just chose it because it was one of mine, and I know being healthier could be on everyone's list. So, in effort to make America, and the world, a healthier place, follow these steps below and start becoming the healthiest and happiest version you can be.

1. Figure out your self image and then change it to what you want to be.

Our actions reflect our thinking, and so if we do not act on something, then it's because we do not want to. We don't truly want to. It is a self-image problem. It sounds silly, but it is true. If we don't do something, but want to, then the problems lies in our self-image. I wanted to lose weight, but I kept failing to, even though I wanted to. So, I had to go to my self image and see what I thought of myself. I found out that I thought of myself as someone who was fit, but had some extra weight on her. In order to get the pristine bikini body, I needed to change who I thought I was. So if you don't see yourself as a straight A student, you won't become one. You have to believe that a straight A student is who you are, and your sub conscious will find a way to align your current self with your self image.

2. Associate pleasure with what you want to start doing. 

The balance of pleasure and pain and what you associate it with defines our actions. 

My friend can eat whatever chicken she wants because she has pleasure associated with all of it. But I can only eat organic chicken because once I ate 'normal' chicken and it had gone bad, and it made me throw up. Whenever I even think of eating non-organic it makes me gag. I have a lot of pain associated with eating non-organic because of a certain experience I had. I made a negative neuro-association with it and now I eat healthier chicken. So, if you want to start working out, make a postive neuro-association with it, and relate pleasure to it. You have to change your thoughts about it to change your actions. Because willpower and motivation will run out, but if you think positively about working out, you won't need a lot of willpower to do it.

3. Write Concrete Goals.

This helps you know exactly what to do. The way I write goals is by working backwards. If I want to lose 10 lbs before spring break is over, then I write that by March 20, 2016, then write month goals, week goals, and then day goals. 

4. Do this for 66 days.

It is a misconception that forming a new habit takes 22 days. The range, depending on how hard the habit is you are forming, goes from 12-149 days. So, make sure you stick with it!

5. Once a week, take 20 min to journal and reflect.

Tracking and reflecting are necessary so that you can keep up with your progress.

6. Get out there and get started.

Humans don't want to change, so get out there and don't wait around for motivation to hit you.