Stop worrying about dropping the bad habits. "Instead of trying to drop a bad habit, add a healthy one such as a daily walk," suggests Maher.
Look at exercise differently. "Redefine it as self-care," says Maher. "Regular self-care is the 'oxygen mask' women must consistently put on if we are to optimally take care of ourselves (and others) and experience life to the fullest, according to fitness motivation expert Michelle Segar, PhD."
Don't work out to weigh in. "Forget the scale: exercise to reduce stress, not to lose weight," Maher tells us, adding, "Research shows that the best motivation for midlife women is to improve your state of well-being -- for example, improving mood and reducing stress. Only 26 percent of the women in one study said they exercised for mental health benefits, but those women exercised 30 percent more often than those who stated their top reason as physical health benefits or weight loss. Exercise can have a pretty immediate impact on your mood and stress level, and over time it also improves your memory and makes you physically healthier. So you get the instant payoff of your workout improving your day and the long-term benefits that make you want to keep doing it."
Make a fitness plan. "Choose a goal like a 5K walk or race or join a team to stay motivated and focused," she says.
Be reasonable. "Pick small, attainable goals-and give yourself plenty of time to reach them," Maher suggests. "Give yourself permission to set very small goals for yourself. Become consistent with these small goals, and then, when you feel that you have incorporated the new behavior into your 'routine' increase your goals – just a little at a time. Keep this up. Take as much as four to eight weeks to learn how to add 2-7 minutes of physical activity to most of your days. Once you've incorporated the smaller amount (another 2-5 minutes?) increase slowly." More has, well, more information on meeting your health goals this year. Try making small fitness changes and asking the right weight-loss questions! And be sure to try these superfoods for healthy weight loss.