Top 5 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail was created because New Year’s Resolutions are notorious for fizzling out sometime in January and recent statistics shows over 80% never make it past 3 months into the new year. It is a running joke (not a funny one) in the gym industry that the gym is packed in January but by February most people will be gone and “the regulars” can get on with it without the crowds.
How can you avoid being part of this sad statistic? After all, they say that people have “the best intentions” when starting a new year’s resolution – but is that really true?
I admire all who make New Year’s Resolutions because it means that they have decided to make an effort towards something they want. To truly set the best intentions for yourself, follow the 5 Steps to Intentions You Will Implement.
So, on to the Top 5 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail:
5. Choosing too many things to change at once.
This is a common one. After we go crazy eating and drinking over the holidays we all feel like the worst versions of ourselves, so we decide on 5 or 10 things we want to change. I want to “eat better, start working out, cut out sugar, quit smoking, run every day, call my friends more, be nicer to my mom, read more books, take that course, start a new business….” You get the point. This is a recipe for disaster. Studies show that implementing just one new change at a time and then adding in another one when that one becomes more routine is a much more successful route. Think small. Really small. How about drinking more water – measure and drink 2 L per day for the next few weeks. If you are ready for more, then by all means. Just know that it’s the little things that add up to great change over time – especially when you don’t quit.
4. Black or white thinking.
This one is so common as we all can tend toward the “all or nothing” attitude that accompanies healthy behaviour. This is one thing that can really derail the most well planned of intentions and goals. When we think in black and white, we leave no room for the randomness and unpredictability that is inevitable in life. Especially as a FitMama. Life can get all kinds of crazy when we are talking about babies, other children, extended families, schedules, commitments, personalities, priorities and more. Black and white thinking shows up in the form of “I missed my morning workout, so I could not do anything today” or “I had one cookie when I said I wasn’t going to, I have blown it..so I ate the whole box.” You can see how this can be disastrous. Choose instead to accept that all things may not go exactly as planned, but each moment offers you a chance to realign with your intentions, so make it happen, even if it doesn’t look exactly like what you had pictured.
3. Sabotaging yourself.
This one is a famous one for sure. How often do we plan to eat healthy and then not pack a lunch, stay up too late and then set an alarm we know we won’t wake up to or say we are quitting coffee and then drive right by the most tempting coffee shop? I know, right? Why do we do this to ourselves? Well, first thing is, you might not be completely committed to your goal. Have you given extensive thought as to the WHY behind your goal? Or the HOW? Sometimes we just pick a goal and then don’t consider all the logistics involved. We don’t place ourselves in the moment we will be in and we instead end up following the same old patterns that got us to where we don’t want to be. Set yourself up for success by beginning with the end in mind and PREPARING for what we know will be what we need in the moment. Relying on will power when we have set ourselves up for failure is just plain mean. Don’t do this to yourself!
2. Undermining Self Talk.
We have all done this, though I hope after reading this you stop. Talking or thinking negatively about yourself in general is a horrible habit. But this goes even beyond that and includes actually putting yourself down, labelling and belittling yourself. Maybe you don’t wake up one morning to go workout and you say, “You are not a morning person, this habit will never stick!” Or you go out with friends to a restaurant and you say “You hate healthy food, who are you trying to fool?” These comments are completely false. You may not love waking up early in the morning, but you most certainly can get into a regular habit and begin to enjoy it more with practice, consistency and an early to bed nighttime routine. You may not have the desire for vegetables over chicken wings when you start, but slowly and surely, your tastebuds will change and you will in fact crave healthier foods. Flip your comments around and tell yourself the opposite and watch how you start to follow through!
1. Giving up too soon.
We all want instant results. I get that. Who wouldn’t want to eat healthy for one meal and lose all the weight they desire? Go to the gym once and be super fit? Of course! But that is completely unrealistic. So too is expecting to lose weight that has taken you 9 months or 10 years to put on and giving up after just a few weeks. It takes between 6-8 weeks to even see results sometimes, and often 12-16 to really get into feeling a groove where things feel like one birthday party won’t ruin all your hard work. Often it can take 5-10 times that long to reach the goal you have set for yourself, but isn’t time flying by anyway? And how much better do you feel each day that you follow through? Each little bit counts and each time you perform the actions that are aligned with your goals, you are creating new and stronger neural pathways in your brain. This allows for the actions to become more and more automatic, so just like you can’t brush your teeth once and expect to keep them clean and white all the time, you also aren’t having to remind yourself, convince yourself, talk yourself into brushing each morning and night. You just do it.
Exercising and eating healthy can become as simple a habit as brushing your teeth.
Making it a habit does take continuous practice though, and that is what being a FitMama is all about. Setting your intentions and then following through.
Cheers to making it happen this year. One day at a time.