Did you know that about 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions but only 8% actually achieve them?
Here’s how the process of dropping a New Year’s resolution might look. Let’s take the example of weight loss:
Pre-New Year: Yeah, I’m getting this done, baby! Gym membership - check. Shopping spree at lululemon - check (can’t lose weight without fabulous outfits, of course), 5-star rated water bottle - check. Freaking rockin’ playlist - check. Alarm set to 5:00 am to hit the gym - check!
January 1: Scheduled a 2 hour workout routine into my calendar. Hittin’ the gym. Let’s do this!!
January 2: Another 2 Hours. Ok. I can do this.
January 3: I’m so f*cking sore. Plus it’s lame to wake up at 5:00 just so I can torture myself. Can I really do this?? Maybe not. *hits snooze and rolls over*
January 4: Ok for REAL. I can’t do this. Did I leave the price tags on some of the lululemon stuff so I can return it? What’s the cancellation policy at the gym?? And where’s the ice cream?
So that was probably an exaggerated version of how fast people ditch their resolutions. But I bet some have been dropped that fast...maybe even sooner!
Why do the majority of people who set out with high hopes and bright eyes squash their dreams? And what the heck is the secret of the 8% who follow through?
Here are three things that goal-attainers have cited as their not so secret secrets to their resolve:
• Make it attainable and tangible.
Nothing squashes a goal faster than the realization on the way to the goal that it really can't be done in the amount of time you've set for its accomplishment. There is no way a person will healthily lose 50 lbs. in 2 weeks. Setting such a goal is a surefire recipe for failure. Make sure that your health goals can be carried out in a healthy way. Also, setting a vague goal of "I want to lose some weight" has no clarity/specificity behind it. When there's no clarity in the goal there's bound to be no clarity in the plan to reach the goal. It's much easier to follow a plan that says: I am going to change my diet by not eating foods x,y and z and I am going to exercise 5 days a week at the gym location close to me and I will make sure to schedule that gym time in my calendar. "We say if you can't measure it, it's not a very good resolution because vague goals beset vague resolutions, says John Norcross of the University of Scranton.
• Do small things. See big results.
Great things are a series of small things brought together. ~Van Gogh. The simpler a goal, the easier it will be to achieve. Making bold, audacious goals can be so psychologically overwhelming that you are doomed before you even get started. It is better to set small, attainable goals throughout the year than one sweeping, massive goal. It's about one step at a time, not one giant leap that you are scared to take in the first place. A book that I HIGHLY recommend to help this concept stick in your mind is called The Slight Edge. It's about small things you do day in and day out that are compounded over time. This compound effect on your life can go in a positive direction or a negative direction. A cheeseburger every day of your life will have a dramatically different result in your old age than if you were to replace that cheeseburger with a healthy salad. That's one example of keeping it simple. Replace one bad eating habit with one good one and stick to it!
• Know your Why-Power.
This, in my opinion, is the #1 thing to start with when defining any goal...including a weight loss/fitness goal. Do you know WHY you are even setting that goal for yourself? Why-power is the fuel for will power. Without Why-Power your will-power will come to a screeching halt and before you know it, you're back to square one again. Let's get far away from square one and explore your Why and what motivates you to keep going, even on tough days. Are you eating healthier and losing weight because you want to be around to see your grandkids grow up? Are you ditching that bowl of ice cream for a healthy green smoothie because you know that the sugar in the ice cream will trigger one of your daily headaches - and you've decided your through with those once and for all? Are you opting for the salad instead of the cheeseburger because you have a family history of heart attacks and you want a different path for yourself? Do you visualize yourself as already having achieved your health goal and do you envision how it would feel to be that fit, vibrant person that you KNOW you can be? If you don't do any envisioning of your future self, start today. It's powerful. This is what can push you through. Get SUPER clear on your Why. Remember that your Why-Power will fuel your will-power and keep on trucking.
My fitness goals for 2015:
• Lose a whopping 8 lbs. (I know...it's not a lot but toning my body & strength training is really what I am focusing on.)
• Wake up before the kids wake up to exercise at LEAST 5 days a week. (Anyone who knows me well knows that this is big for me, being the night owl and fan of sleeping in that I am.)
• Eat a healthy Paleo diet. (Sundays are cheat days)
• Get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
• Meditate daily for stress reduction.
• I want to balance my hormones. I've had a tendency to struggle with unbalanced hormones my entire adult life and this has lead to a variety of health issues (headaches, fatigue, irregular cycle, etc.). I am done with this health issue because I can see that as I get older, it just gets worse.
• I want to be a good role-model for my children. Interestingly enough, when my husband saw that I was serious this time about my new healthy habits, he has jumped on the band wagon too and so I guess I've been a good role-model for him as well!
• And of course, I want to look good. :) That's vanity for you!
I am happy to report that I've stuck to all of my goals and I intend to keep going.
I'm curious to know -
What are your fitness goals? How have your 2015 health resolutions been going for you so far? What is your Why-Power?
In Love and Health,