We are well into 2018 now, and many of us have already forgotten the resolutions we made at the beginning of the year. Some have started and stopped. Some never began. Others decided to not make any resolutions at all. For most who do make resolutions, physical fitness and health is among the top players for new year goals. If you didn’t make any or feel like you’ve failed before you even began, then this piece of advice is for you!
45% of all people who made resolutions at the beginning of January chose to lose weight or get in shape. Only 9% of those who make resolutions find success! 42% fail or never begin.
So what are the 9% doing that the rest of us are not?
They actually made a resolution, a definitive decision to do or not do something! This means preempting excuses with a firm decision to continue and persevere. There are some fairly common reasons people do not succeed in their health and fitness new year’s plans that we can help you recognize. First is the inevitable post-holiday slump. The guests are gone, the decorations put away and the fast-paced frenzy is over. Finally, you can collapse and breathe a minute. Do so! Just make sure that minute doesn’t turn into six months.
Next is seeing your goal as too big, too time consuming, too insurmountable. You’re giving yourself a way out. Don’t take it. Remember to start small. Neither Rome nor biceps were built in a day. Goals take time, energy and effort. Be sure to set physical expectations with a dose of reality. Fit the initial steps around your current schedule, endurance levels and skill set. As you create habits and grow stronger, your goal will take more center stage in your life.
One of the most difficult road blocks to overcome is emotion. Whether it’s guilt, self-sabotage, perfectionism, self-loathing, lack of confidence, fear or any other feeling that stops us from reaching for the best versions of ourselves, it’s important to feel it and overcome it. That process is different for everyone. You may need an accountability partner, a personal trainer, a therapist, a support network or team or little sticky notes all over your house for reminders and encouragement. Find your motivation and reach out.
Many of us can be held to our word by making a public proclamation. Post it to your Facebook, Instagram or make a grand toast at dinner to your friends and family. Let people know what you are doing and how you plan to do it. Take pictures to document your journey, even if you are the only one who ever sees them. Record your measurements, rather than weight which is not a fully accurate gauge of progress. Keep a journal of some sort. Anything you can do to bring awareness to your decision will help you along the way.
Lastly, be patient and forgiving with yourself. People who succeed don’t beat themselves up for a slip here and there. Change your thinking and decide today that failure is a state of mind. Don’t leave starting over to tomorrow. Decide to start over or decide to begin right now, this very minute, with your next bite of food or your next free moment to squeeze in a workout.