Well, it’s that time of year again. The presents have been bought, wrapped and presented. The signature meal has been prepared and enjoyed and the glasses have been toasted by family and friends. Now it comes time for setting the annual New Year’s resolution.
Atop most people’s list are various “health” resolutions. Whether it’s losing weight, eating better or quitting a bad habit, health-inspired changes are some of the top-listed resolutions each year.
You would think with so many people vowing to make these lifestyle changes that our country would be full of healthy-eating exercise fanatics with no bad habits. Yet for all of the millions out there vowing to change their lives, a measly eight percent will actually do so. The rest will slowly fall off the bandwagon with the passing of each month.
Why? It’s not that health-inspired goals aren’t good, in fact, they’re great! The problem is not the goal itself, but rather the ways in which you present the goal.
Why Healthy Resolutions Fail
1. We almost all expect to fail. It’s become so common to give up on resolutions that failure is practically expected.
2. Our goals are too big. To say “I want to run a marathon” or “I want to become a vegetarian” is admirable, but if you’ve never exercised a day in your life and haven’t eaten a vegetable within the last decade, these are lofty goals that require willpower of steel and that are way outside the realm of ‘being realistic’.
3. Our goals are too vague. “Losing weight,” “eating better,” and “getting in shape” are too broad and without a plan of action, as a result, they will often fail.
4. Our goals feel like work. When you set extremely high standards, such as losing 100 lbs, the end result is a long way away. With the intense level of work involved, you’re more inclined to give up.
Why These “Healthy” Resolutions are Bad For Your Health
Regardless of the resolution-setting mistake, failure to make the changes you so desperately wanted often leads to feelings of inadequacy, failure and hopelessness. Thinking you’re “not good enough” to run that marathon or are “destined” to remain overweight, can lead to a “giving up” mentality and keep you from ever achieving (or attempting to achieve) your goals.
Resolve the Right Way
Don’t give up on your big dreams, but instead resolve to achieve them the right and healthy way.
1. Break down the larger goal. If you want to lose weight, don’t focus on the end number. Instead focus on small increments that are attainable to boost your confidence.
2. Don’t focus on what you “can’t have” but instead focus on what you “can have.” Don’t think about the cookies you have to give up, rather look at the benefits of all the delicious fruit you can enjoy.
3. Set small milestones for yourself. If you want to give up a bad habit, cut back slowly and celebrate each success. Note each week or month habit-free to stay on track.
4. Don’t allow yourself to give up with one slip. If you indulge one night or miss your workout don’t fret. Allow yourself minor setbacks and resolve to get back in the game the next day.
-The Alternative Daily