It’s coming up to that time again! Christmas is less than 4 weeks away, and we will soon be in a New Year! This is the perfect time to start thinking about a New Year’s resolution, right?
Wrong. The problem with New Year’s resolutions in that not many people seem to stick to them. In fact I don’t know a single person who has stuck to their resolutions. Perhaps this is the wrong way to go about making lifestyle changes?
Let’s look at why people fail in their resolution attempts:
- The resolutions are too harsh. Going from one extreme to the other isn’t a good strategy. For example, if you currently don’t exercise and you start a new program where you exercise twice a day – every day, then you probably won’t be able to keep it up.
- There are too many resolutions. Ok, you want to totally overhaul your life. You will stop smoking, stop drinking, stop spending so much money and you want to exercise, stop eating cake and be less stressed. That’s a lot of things to remember, let alone do!
- Once you slip, you fall. Once your resolution has been broken, is that the end? Do you go back to your old ways?
I think it’s quite clear that for most of us, New Year’s resolutions just don’t work. So perhaps we can get away from the concept of resolutions and aim more towards everyday lifestyle choices. To show some examples, have a look at the table below:
|New Year’s Resolution||Lifestyle choice||Reasoning|
|I will not eat any more junk food whatsoever. Not even on my birthday!||I will make conscious choices to cut down on junk food. For example, substituting the worst offenders for healthier options.||If you try and cut every piece of junk food from your diet at once, you will end up craving it. It’s better to take small steps to reach your goal.|
|I will exercise 5x per week, every week!||I will make everyday decisions favouring me being more physically active.||Going from no exercise to a lot of exercise isn’t always good. Build up slowly and increase your activity over time to stay motivated.|
|I will lose weight!||I will try to decrease my body fat from 30% to 26% before June. I will consciously watch what I eat and increase my activity levels accordingly.||If you set a target, it needs to be specific! Weight is just a number on the scales, whereas body fat % is what shows on the outside and affects your health on the inside.|
Instead of making a New Year’s resolution, why not make a life resolution – and start it now? If you are committed to the change you want to make, you will do it now. However if you are going to make a New Year’s resolution, check out my previous article on the importance of goal setting. It will help to explain why you should be specific when setting goals.
Also, for those of you who are not looking forward to a busier gym in the New Year, check out this dumbbell only workout. No waiting for machines here!