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According to an article by Stephen Shapiro, only 8% of people are always successful in achieving their resolutions, and 3 of 4 people almost never succeed. It is no secret that a firm decision to lose weight is difficult to make. But it is even more difficult to follow this decision. The right start can be a great help and lead to amazing results.

We at Bright Side love our readers and can’t just keep out of the difficulties some of you may deal with. We have prepared some tips that will make your path easier and more successful.

1. Motivate yourself properly.

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What usually motivates you? Do you visualize a perfectly shaped version of yourself or dream about ideal results? We are sorry to upset you, but scientists consider this method ineffective. When we do not take into account possible mistakes and setbacks, we give up easier when trying to meet obstacles. So how should you visualize the desired results with the maximum effectiveness? Follow these instructions: Think about the benefits Analyze the obstacles This method helps you find out what you really want, but also gets you prepared for difficulties. And if you know about them from the start, it will give you long-term motivation to lose weight.

2. Analyze your previous tries (if any).

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If this is not the first time that you’ve decided to lose weight, it will be good to analyze your experience. Ask yourself why you failed before. Here is a short list of possible reasons why most tries are not successful: Unrealistic goals or no goals Crash dieting Distractions Lack of meal and exercise planning Waiting for visible results in a short-term period Wrong diet Add your reasons here This step will help you take into account and avoid previous mistakes.

3. Develop a meal plan.

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According to this study, structured meal plans and grocery lists improved the results. Do not be lazy. Spend several hours and develop a special menu that will bring you the expected outcomes. If you think that your knowledge in this area is not sufficient — consult with specialists.

4. Develop an exercise plan.

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Usually the most effective strategy is to combine diet and exercise. So if your meal plan is ready — it is time to create an exercise schedule. Find a physical activity you are interested in. You can try to burn calories doing cardio (walking, running, swimming, cycling) or lifting weights.

5. Find out which habits will help you succeed.

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There are many studies related to weight loss. Some of them can help you choose the correct behavior during your journey. For example, eggs for breakfast will enhance weight loss. And drinking 1500 ml of water over and above your daily intake is an effective tool that will help you achieve your goal as well. But there are also plenty of temptations in our world. Do you find it difficult to ignore the bowl with candies in your office? There is some research that describes the following interesting fact: when the candies were less visible and proximate, the average person ate 3.1 candies per day; but when the bowl was more visible and proximate the number of eaten sweets increased up to 7.7. Here is one more habit it is better to be aware of and avoid.

6. Go online.

A weight-loss journey is always difficult to start. We suggest you to go online to make it easier and more exciting. A study done by Northwestern University states that online dieters who regularly log in, track, and show their results, and make friends with other members with similar goals can lose around 8% of their body weight in 6 months. The less people communicate the worse their results.

7. Be prepared to fail.

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Mistakes are the key to learning, a study suggests. Next time you will think twice about what is more important for your results: a workout or a new episode on TV. Don’t be afraid of setbacks (to be honest we need to relax sometimes), just remember your goal. This could even make your commitment stronger and ease the sorrowful thoughts about a burger (or pizza) you suddenly ate yesterday.

8. Reward yourself.

Scientists say that even a tiny reward can motivate us to go the extra mile. So if you feel that your motivation starts to vanish — thank yourself for your firmness and relax (for a short period, of course). Reward yourself with something you have been dreaming of, take time to analyze how far you’ve come, make some amendments to your plan (if needed), and come back with new energy.

Bonus: Here are 2 exercises for you to start right away

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One-legged plank is a metabolism booster. Additionally, this move has a lot of advantages: it strengthens abdominal muscles, tightens the midsection, increases flexibility, reduces back pain, improves balance and posture, and improves mood. How to do it: Lay on your forearms and stomach; Lift your hips and tighten your abs. Only your forearms and toes should touch the ground; Check that your elbows are directly under your shoulders and your wrists are in line with your elbows; Raise one of your legs toward the ceiling as high as you can; Hold this position for 30 seconds, then switch your legs.

This exercise’s primary goal is to lift your booty. But it also strengthens your abs, arms, and hips. How to do it: Start on your hands and knees; Slowly lift one of your legs and bend at the knee to make a 90 degree angle; Slowly lift and lower the leg. Focus on the motion coming from your booty; The hip, thigh, and knee should be aligned and parallel to the floor; Repeat 15 times, then switch your legs.

Are you going to start a weight-loss journey in the near future? Do you have any other tips that will help other people succeed? Share your ideas in the comments!

Illustrated by Inna Grevtseva for BrightSide.me