Are you a fan of making New Year’s resolutions?
If you are, stop reading because I might upset you and don’t want to do that.
This is not an anti-New Years’ resolution post, far from it. It’s just I’m not a huge fan of them anymore because when I use to make them, I’d been drinking and inevitably forget them. Yes, my memory is not the best and I’m a lightweight. 😊
Let’s face it, breaking a New Year’s resolution is either old hat because you’ve done it many times, or you feel like a failure for breaking one again. Anyway, there are better ways (I feel) to start the new year on the right foot and not make and break another New Years’ resolution.
Let’s dive in.
New Year’s Resolutions People Usually Make
Okay, it’s hard not to generalize here so if painting everyone with the same brush rubs you the wrong way (as it does me) here’s another reason to bail out. Because like I said, I don’t want to upset you.
Being in the health & fitness industry for over 12 years, resolutions I hear about are usually based around personal health. Resolutions like
Giving up junk food
Going to the gym more
Getting a six-pack (or insert any body part here)
Eating more ‘clean’
Then the first of the year rolls around and the gym fills people wearing workout clothes that either don’t fit them or dusting off clothes they wore in the 80’s. Oh trust me it’s not the greatest look.
These types of gym-goers will start with the best of intentions but with a lack of direction, knowledge, and results they flame out a few months later. Then they start the process the following New Year. If you like going around in circles, then this is for you. But if you’re fed up, there is a better way.
There Is a Better Way
Stop making vague resolutions and start making specific goals you can stick to. Let’s talk about the goal of losing weight for a New Year’s resolution and turn it into something doable. And you do this by finding your real why.
When you replace a vague resolution with your real why you start to get something that sticks and not something you’ll quit easily. Let me give you an example of the 5 whys you need to ask to get to the heart of your resolution/goal.
Why do you want to exercise? – To lose 20 pounds.
Why 20 pounds? – Because I’ll get down to my old high school weight.
Why is that important to you? – Because I want my energy and bounce back, like when I was in high school
Why is getting your energy back important at this time? – My wife is about to have a baby.
A baby, fantastic news. Why will losing 20 pounds help? – Because I want to be the best help and role model for my child.
You need to do this with any vague goal or resolution you make. Once you got this, you need to develop better habits to help replace the ones you have that are getting you nowhere.
Can’t Help Myself Bad Habits
The best way to change ‘bad’ habits that are getting you nowhere is to replace them with new ones. These habits will help get closer to the goal you discovered by finding your why. Because when you create a habit, your brain creates new neurological pathways allowing you to use those habits easily.
This is why your less-than-stellar habits are hard to break. I have a habit of biting my nails which I’ve been trying to break for years. Why mention it? Because I’m right there with you and understand how it feels.
These ‘bad’ habits are hard to break because the neural pathways established as a result of the habits, you develop never get deleted from your hardware. Since your hardware never gets erased, the best way to change existing habits is to replace them with new ones.
Steps To Take To Change Your Habits
Don’t worry about your other habits that got you to this point. Pick a habit that gets you closer to your why and follow these six steps. Hopefully, over time your bad habits will lose their grip.
Start small– if you’re trying to lose weight start with drinking a glass of water before each meal. Pick the smallest thing you can change and stick to it.
Get hooked on your habit- It takes a little while to make it a habit to stick so don’t worry if you skip a day just don’t miss twice. The only way to fail is to quit.
Celebrate your small wins- You have to celebrate the small stuff before you celebrate the big stuff. Even if you walked for an extra 10 minutes or did an extra rep in the gym, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.
Design your environment- Make it easier for your habit to stick. For example, if you want to go to the gym, pack your bag the night before and make it one of the first things you see when you wake up and get moving
Surround yourself with cheerleaders- If you’re trying to lose weight but your partner is still pigging out on ice cream, do you think it makes losing weight easier or more difficult?
Don’t expect miracles and results overnight. It took time to get you to this point and it will take time to get closer to where you want to be. But once you find your why and form better habits, making vague New Year’s resolutions will become a thing of the past.
There is nothing wrong with making New Year’s resolutions. It’s a good start but finding your why and developing better habits to support your why will make vague resolutions better. Then you’ll party like it’s 1999 in the safe knowledge that you will crush your health and fitness goals.
If you need help with the exercise part, I offer customized training here. Please click, I will not bite……hard.