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For many people, the beginning of a new year means a fresh start to new goals, but oftentimes it can be difficult to stick to the resolutions.

Now that 2020, a new year and decade, has begun CTV News Winnipeg spoke to some experts on the most effective ways to make and keep New Year’s Resolutions.

FITNESS

According to fitness and nutrition coach Chinwe Asagwara, those wanting to keep their fitness resolutions should adhere to the FITT principle, which stands for frequency, intensity, type and time. This means looking at how often someone works out, how hard the body is working, what kind of exercise a person enjoys and how long the workouts last. Asagwara said in order for a workout routine to be effective, it needs to follow these four pillars.

She also recommends walking as a good way for beginners to start working out.

“We want to keep things really simple and eliminate barriers as much as possible.”

QUTTING SMOKING

John McDonald from the Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Alliance said two of the most important parts to keep in mind when quitting smoking is having a support system and letting people know that you’ve decided to stop.

He also said there are many nicotine replacement therapy products, such as inhalers, lozenges, gum and patches. McDonald cited other effective supports such as the Lung Association’s booklet titled “That’s it I Quit,” the Canadian Cancer Society’s smoker’s helpline, and the Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Alliance’s Facebook page

When it comes to whether it’s better to quit cold turkey or take it step by step, McDonald said it comes down to the person.

“It depends on the individual. There’s not one that works better than the other, it’s what’s right for you,” he said.

MEAL PREPPING

For those thinking about meal prepping in 2020, Asagwara said it’s beneficial when it comes to sticking to a nutritious meal plan.

She recommended that people follow the Canada Food Guide and incorporate lots of fruits, vegetables, proteins and plant-based proteins into their diets.

Some of Asagwara’s meal suggestions that can be prepped ahead of time include:

  • Eggs cups, baked oatmeal and smoothies (pre-prepared in plastic bags) for breakfast;
  • Precut vegetables and fruit with skin for snacks; and
  • Roasted vegetables, burritos and couscous salad for dinner.

STAYING ON TRACK

Though making resolutions is easy, it’s sticking to them that can prove difficult. Life coach Joyce Odidison said it’s all about shifting your mindset and envisioning the process.

“Ensuring that we have a mindset that’s aligned with the goal that we want to have,” she said.

Odidison said people should create micro-improvement strategies to help them take baby steps to achieve their goals, and also visualize who they are going to become.

“If you don’t have a picture of who you are going to be, it’s just a goal. It’s not aligned with your mindset.”

- With files from CTV’s Alex Brown.