5 Ways to Avoid Failing Your New Year Resolutions
You stare at the mirror and a gut stares back. You step on the scale and see a great number – if you were about a foot taller. Taking the stairs is a task. You have your doctor’s number on speed dial. A three pound a year weight gain translated into over thirty pounds of excess. Weight loss or medical attention is in your future. Losing weight seems like a better option.
Fortunately the New Year is here and a new resolution waits. Time to make a commitment. Time to make a change. You will lose weight. You will get in shape. You will get off the meds. Your New Year’s resolution has arrived. Again
You are a fitness club’s dream. By the end of the week you agree to a three year contract with ten personal training sessions. You make lists of foods you will eat and those that you relegate to the trash heap. To show you are serious, you actually throw the unwanted foods into the trash.
Then you decide losing a few pounds is not enough. You need to get in real shape. Great shape. Like the way you were when you were a seventeen year bag of hormones. This is the year of the new you, the happier, slimmer, and more active you. This time you mean it.
You are destined for failure. In what psychologists call “false hope syndrome,” you have set unrealistic goals that will be too difficult to attain, at least in the short-term. You will never be 18 again (for the record, 18 wasn’t that great for most). And you probably won’t look like a model.
Your best bet is to strive to be a healthier version of your current self. But that’s not a sexy goal. That doesn’t look good on the refrigerator door. So you set your goals high. It won’t take long to realize your resolution was not realistic. Rather than adjust it, you give up on it. This year’s resolution falls into the scrap heap of past failed resolutions.
Instead of a failed resolution and more doctors’ probes, consider making adjustments to your resolution.
Five ways to ensure Resolution Success
Set realistic goals
Losing a pound a week is great. It means you will be at your fighting weight in less than six months. It means you will be developing good eating and exercising habits that you may be able to sustain. It means you will have withdrawn the weight gain attained over ten years in five percent of the time. Try losing five pounds of fat in a month instead of thirty pounds of water, muscle and fat.
Plan on a four week lull
The New Year’s energy will wear off. Instead of going out like a raging bull who will burn out in a few weeks, think of the first month as a long warm up. Take it easy. Make positive progress but don’t go overboard with it. You will be amazed at the improvement and you will severely limit the risk of burnout and injury.
Find a fun active event three months in the future
Go to active.com or another site that has a calendar of activities and find one that fits your goals in April. It doesn’t have to be a running event. It could be a goal to swim a mile in open water, join a full-court basketball league or even train for a power lifting competition where you have to make weight to compete. Use the goal to work on changing exercise and eating habits.
Reaffirm you resolution monthly
New Years day is not the only day for resolutions. Use the beginning of each month to reaffirm or adjust yours. Set mini goals that you can achieve in the next month. Reassess it at the end of the month and set a new one. Twelve mini resolutions will turn this year into a great year of achievement.
Define success with the process and not the results
Define success in terms of behavioral changes rather than physical changes. Are you eating healthier? Are you exercising at least three times a week? What have you done to reduce stress and improve your sleep? Don’t focus on your weight loss. If you are active and eating right, your weight will shift from a protruding stomach to muscular arms and legs. You may not see the results on the scale but you will see them in your quality of life.
You may not reach your dream goal of qualifying for the Olympic gymnastics team or out kicking a Kenyan at the New York marathon. But with a few modifications and adjustments to it, you can turn this year’s resolution into raging success.
About the Author
Gregg Ghelfi is a reformed lawyer who founded the Fit in the Middle weight loss program with the goal of helping people lose weight and become healthier. He started his journey after losing twenty pounds from a combination of fitness and nutrition.
To gain a deeper understanding of the subject he researched and wrote a book on Metabolic Syndrome and obesity. It is a narrative about a person who discovers he has Metabolic Syndrome. With the help of friends he finds out how he can improve his health by losing weight through fitness and nutrition.