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30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge Day 1: How to Crush Your Goals in the New Year

author image Rachel Grice
Rachel Grice is a contributing fitness editor for and a certified yoga instructor. Previously, she was the science section editor and titling associate for several other sections of Demand Media Studios, including fitness, nutrition and technology. She completed her undergrad education at the University of Southern California and has worked for Men's Health, FitPregnancy and People magazines.
30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge Day 1: How to Crush Your Goals in the New Year
Today is the day! Photo Credit: Kristen Schellenberg / LIVESTRONG.COM

Congratulations! You’ve done it. You’ve decided it’s time to get healthy, and you’ve committed to doing this for YOU. Welcome to the LIVESTRONG.COM 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge.

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Our entire team is here to support you every step of the way. Like a song that’s been on a loop in your head, you’re stuck with us — but in a good way. Every day we’ll give you info and tools to keep you motivated and to help you succeed.

Start Strong But Start Small

It's easy to overcommit yourself amidst the hype of New Year's resolutions, but in order not to fizzle out before the month is even over, it's important to establish balance.

Balance is essential if you want to reach your goals. Tracking your meals and focusing on your workouts are both critical components, but you need to balance your fitness routine and your life. It's common to make your transformation the primary focus of your attention, but don't take on too much at once.

You're juggling a lot. You're working to replace old habits with new ones that support your new healthier lifestyle, but you don't need to change everything at once. It's not all or nothing. Here are some ideas for small changes you can start today, and then build on through the rest of the challenge:

Your first week, try tracking without changing too much so you can get a baseline for how much you eat.

–Identify one food or drink you know you can pretty easily do without (soda, donuts, dessert, alcohol) and commit to cutting it out of your diet for just one week to see how you feel.
–Add just a little more movement each day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park at the other end of the parking lot and walk to the store, use your lunch break to take a walk with your coworker.
–Figure out which foods you don't mind swapping out for healthier alternatives.
–Tell yourself you're never going to eat directly from the bag. Instead, portion out your meal or snack and stop when you've finished whatever you've allotted.
–Fill up on fruits and veggies so that you're less likely to eat more of the less healthier options at meals.
–Opt to cook more meals at home instead of going out to a restaurant.

Find Balance to Get Healthier

Like the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. Don't overwhelm yourself by attempting a complete life overhaul. You'll have greater success if you make small, meaningful changes and build from there. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Manage your expectations and set yourself up for long-term success. For example, you're not going to get six-pack abs, run a marathon and cook and eat five healthy, perfectly balanced meals a day — all in your first month. While that's wonderfully ambitious, it's not realistic.

Be kind to yourself and use your resources to achieve and maintain balance. You've got an arsenal of tools at your disposal, including the LIVESTRONG.COM community to provide support and accountability to help you out. A balanced approach will help tip the scales in your favor — toward success.

How to Join the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge

Tracking is easy with MyPlate.
Tracking is easy with MyPlate. Photo Credit: LIVESTRONG.COM

1. Download the MyPlate App

Documenting your food and activity might seem like overkill, but it’s not. People who track their calories and physical activities enjoy greater success losing weight and keeping it off for good!

Tracking everything honestly is essential to making the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge work for you. Sometimes you’re not even aware of everything you consume, but once you start tracking it, you’ll think twice before you make poor choices. And that’s a good thing.

With LIVESTRONG.COM’s free MyPlate Calorie Tracker — available on desktop and for iOS and Android devices — you can track it all:

  • Daily meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and snacks
  • Exercise and activity
  • Weight
  • Water/hydration
  • BMI (Body Mass Index)

2. Print Out Your Daily Calendar

Isn't it so satisfying to check things off of your to-do list? Each day during the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge, you're accountable for five key steps: tracking breakfast, lunch and dinner; tracking your water intake; and either walking or running.

We created a helpful calendar to keep you on task for all 30 days. Print it out and check off each activity as soon as you complete it.

Here's your plan to get and stay lean!
Here's your plan to get and stay lean! Photo Credit: Gracie Wilson/LIVESTRONG.COM

3. Stay Connected on Facebook

For daily support, motivation and camaraderie with LIVESTRONG.COM team members, join our Facebook Group for the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge. We'll share recipes, tips, motivations, pictures and more! Plus, we'll answer all your questions.

4. Read These Articles to Help You Kick Off Day 1

Readers — Are you joining us in the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge? If so, what's your weight-loss goal? Have you ever done a weight-loss challenge group before? How did it go for you? Have you joined our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know.


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