Although it is now February 2017 (can’t believe it), many of us are still going strong with our health and wellness New Year’s Resolutions. Will that be the case in June? According to a 2015 article published in U.S. News & World Report, 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail. In particular, health and wellness resolutions. Why is this? Here are several reasons why New Year’s Resolutions may fail…
- Our New Year’s Resolutions are unrealistic. The saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” rings true here. Many of us believe that creating lofty and unrealistic goals at the start of a new year, will catapult us into achieving them. The fact of the matter is that if our goals are unattainable, it doesn’t matter what the calendar says.
- We try to “reinvent” ourselves, because we are uncomfortable in our own skin. Although, the start of a new year is a wonderful time to find new inspiration and revamp old routines, it is important that we don’t try to become someone else.
- We begin a stringent new diet as punishment for overindulging during the holiday season. Many of us enjoy the holiday season with parties, spending time with families, and let’s face it – we overindulge in food and libations! As a result, we decide that we need to “whip” ourselves into shape with a stringent new diet at the beginning of the year. This creates an unhealthy vicious cycle and doesn’t allow us to fully enjoy the holiday season without dreading the punishment that we’ll burden ourselves with a few short weeks later.
Now that we have some ideas as to why our New Year’s Resolutions fail, below are some suggestions to help you stick with them…
- Create attainable and realistic goals. As an eternal optimist I believe that “the sky is the limit” for us all, but again “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Remember, that success is a process. We must place one foot in front of the other one day at a time. For example, if incorporating a fitness regimen into your daily routine is one of your goals, try setting aside 30 minutes for exercise 3 times each week as opposed to setting a goal to exercise 2 hours a day 7 days a week.
- Rather than creating a “New You” work on loving the “You” that you already have. At the start of a New Year focusing on our strengths and how we can highlight them is a great way to share what is good about our lives with others. When we learn to enjoy our positive attributes, creating a new person becomes less important. Try spending a few minutes each day sitting in silence, meditating, writing down goals, and setting intentions for the day, week, month, and year. Focusing on positive intentions more frequently should negate the need to “cram” in long-term New Year’s Resolutions at the beginning of each following year.
- Make small changes to your diet that can be sustained throughout the year. There are no “quick fixes”. Well, there are – but quick fixes usually cannot be sustained for long periods of time. If weight loss is your goal, rather than starving yourself or starting a liquid diet as punishment for enjoying the holiday season a bit too much, make small changes to your diet that can be built upon and maintained throughout the year. Changes such as reducing caloric intake by a few hundred calories a week, will result in sustainable weight loss over time.
Learning how to appreciate and take care of the “You” that you already have will help us to feel the need to create a “New You” as a New Year’s Resolution at the beginning of every year.