15 Feb New Year Resolutions? Not a fan.
Every 1 January, many start the year with great intentions to make change – lose weight, exercise more, quit smoking, cut down drinking. Sound familiar?
With nothing in place but a whole lot of wishful thinking, it’s not surprising that by the end of January the best intentions have fallen by the way side. You feel like a failure and your resolution is then relegated to the dark recesses of your mind, where you will not touch upon it until the following New Year.
So why do we think that by waiting for another January to swing by, that we are going to be any more successful in achieving our goals, than we were prior to 31 December?
Weight loss is a common example. How many people talk about losing weight and do nothing? For others, they take action and diet, look and feel great for 6 months and little by little they fall into old habits and the weight goes back on and so the cycle continues. At no stage did they consider the patterns of behaviour that caused them to gain weight in the first place.
Here’s the thing, if you want to change, make the change now and accept that to achieve your goal it will require work and discipline. Yup you heard right; there are no shortcuts, but the good news is there are some hacks.
To start off with, you are more likely to achieve success if you re-program your brain to set a more positive intent around your goals. Have you noticed that when you “diet”, you become obsessed with your next meal? Your brain is constantly tricking you into thinking you are deprived, so in a short space of time you are snacking and diving into the “wrong” types of food. Guilt kicks in, you feel like a failure and revert back to old habits; thus the cycle continues.
So let’s revisit the term “weight loss”. How about we swap that for “I’m going to eat nutritious, healthy food that supports my body and lifestyle”? Sure it’s not as catchy, but in your mind you are no longer depriving yourself of food, but committing to ensuring that every morsel that you put in your body is nutritious and healthy. From there, change the patterns of behaviour that support bad food habits; swap out dessert for a walk, have a cup of tea, pick up the phone and call a friend. Replace the old behaviour with a more positive and fun behaviour that supports your goal.
Obviously there is more to achieving your goals than changing a few words. Put some real thought into your goal setting Write down why you are committed to achieving them and don’t be afraid to put some intensity into it.
Get a plan in place. Without the path way how do you expect to get to your destination? If you want to lose weight consult a nutritionist, get a coach, eat whole food, reduce your portion sizes. The resources and options available to you are endless, but the bottom line comes down to you making the call and deciding if you really want to make it happen.
Above all be kind; if you slip up, that’s life. Don’t beat yourself up, guilt is wasted energy that is better channelled elsewhere. Acknowledge the behaviour and move forward in line with the direction of your goals. If change is going to be sustainable, remember it’s ok to be human.
I’m all for flagging New Year’s resolutions and getting on with life.
Commit to being the best possible version of you, that you can be. It’s not as hard as you think and you will have a tonne of fun along the way.