It comes around every year, and we all jump on the “resolutions” bandwagon. Most people make changes because it’s a New Year and a perfect time to rethink and reshape our lives. But most people make resolutions simply because the marketing companies are really good at convincing us that’s what we need to do in the New Year.
Who’s the most profitable in January/February? Gyms, fitness programs, and diet companies to name a few. Don’t get me wrong — this isn’t a bad thing. I like that these companies are encouraging people to get healthier.
But if you really want to get your resolutions to stick, you have to make your decision for a better reason than what the marketing calendar says. It’s the perfect time to make a change, yes. But the key is to make it stick year-round. Here are why your resolutions fail and what you can do to fix that. 1. You’re combating against a habit. Trying to change a habit basically requires a rewiring of the brain, and that’s simply not an easy thing to do.
2. You bite off more than you can chew. You make a list of 10 things you want to change rather than just focusing on one thing.
3. Your goals aren’t realistic. You’ve made a goal lose 90 pounds in 10 days. Realistic? Nah.
4. You don’t see the results you were hoping for because it takes longer to see results or the change you implemented won’t really make for the results you are hoping for (ie. we want to feel more fulfilled in life, but don’t get that through whatever resolution we’ve made).
5. You lose sight of why you want to make a change. Distractions come up and we lose focus – it happens.
So what can you do to actually combat these things and succeed with your resolutions this year?
1. In order to change a bad habit, you need to replace it with something good. Don’t just say you’ll stop eating junk. When you know that you’re going to want to munch and snack, purposefully replace that with an apple or other fruit/vegetable.
2. Write down a few statements that will encourage and motivate you when you are tempted. There will be a couple of weeks where your bad habit will be competing with your new good habit. Reaffirm mentally why you are doing what you are doing to help you move past temptation.
3. Focus on one simple resolution at a time. Instead of saying, I’m going to lose weight this year, choose to replace one meal a day with something healthier. Or focus on exercising for 20 minutes, 3 days a week. Once you have made this a new habit, you can move onto another resolution. Taking on too many resolutions means you are more likely to fail.
4. Don’t make your resolution simply because it’s a New Year. Making a change needs to be permanent and a lifestyle change that you are ready to implement now. If you are only wanting to change because it’s a New Year, you are less likely to make a permanent, lasting change.
5. Focus on the small positive changes and milestones that you meet while rewarding yourself. Reward yourself when you succeed, no matter how small the success!
6. Be realistic. Instead of saying you will lose 90 pounds in 10 days, focus rather on how often you will exercise each week.
7. Refocus your resolutions on a regular basis. Determination is a powerful thing, and is the key to defeating a bad habit. And the only way to do that is to stay mentally focused and clarify your resolutions every day, week, and month.
8. Don’t let slip-ups hold you back. Just because you make a mistake here and there or “fall off the wagon,” doesn’t mean you have to give up. Take each day at a time, and carry on even when you don’t do it perfectly!
Are you making any resolutions this year? What will you do to ensure that you meet your goals?
Crystal Collins is an Atlanta local, adventurer, a health advocate and thrifty as can be. Check her out on her blog TheThriftyMama.com.