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Along with drinking less, learning a new skill, quitting smoking and getting a better work-life balance, losing weight tops the list of most common NY resolutions. But why do so many fail? And what can you do to stay on course right through the year?

How many times have you made your new years resolution to be to lose weight? Once, twice, maybe three times? How about five, possibly 10? Okay, we get the picture.

And how many times has it worked?

I’m guessing if you’re making it yet again for 2014, then chances are it’s not been too successful in the past. Even if the weight has come off initially, you’ve dipped back into old habits, either due to boredom, complacency or fatigue, meaning you end the year in almost exactly the same shape as you started it, only to vow once again to lose weight next January.

That’s the big trouble with new years resolutions in general – they’re doomed to fail. And when it comes to weight loss, this is even more the case perhaps than with any other January goal.

Gyms are at their busiest in January, due to an influx of newbies. Seasoned gym goers know to avoid peak times in January, but if you’re not aware of this, the gym can feel more like being in a tin of sardines than having the luxury of a fitness club membership. 

Not only that, but I’ll wager good money you still have plenty of Christmas food sitting around the house. Every time you go to the fridge, the tantalizing aroma of the Christmas cheese selection greets you. Bowls of sweets still adorn every coffee table, mantelpiece and spare gap on the work surfaces and that chocolate Santa eyes you evilly from his perch on the larder, just begging to be eaten. 

Also, it’s highly likely you’ve been planning your resolution for weeks, if not months.

And during that time, all you’ve been doing is putting off starting.

Had you made an effort to lose weight, hit the gym and get on a diet plan back in October or November, you’d be going great guns by now. With a little discipline, Christmas would have been enjoyable, but not an all out binge fest, you’d have already made a start in the gym, and would be in much better shape than you are now.

All that being said, you can’t change the past, and a gluttonous December has happened, whether you planned it or not. 

The key now is to make sure you stick with your weight loss resolution and achieve your new year goals for the first time ever.

First thing’s first – write down your goal. Not only should you write it down once, you should do in 10 times. Write it on post it notes, on small scraps of paper, and on massive sheets. Use different pens, colours and fonts – go crazy. The more times you write it down, the more likely you are to remember it and have it at the front of your mind all the time.

Done that? Good. Now take every piece of paper and go and put it somewhere you’ll see it at least once a day. The biggest piece can go on your bedroom door or on the inside of your wardrobe. Stick a smaller one on the sun visor in your car, and attach others to the fridge, microwave or your hallway mirror. Now there’s no chance you’ll forget your goals.

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