Ah, January... a time to take a look back at what we wish we had done differently over the past year and how we want to overhaul our lives for the better in the new year. We spring into action, excited about brining in change and then... something happens. New Year's resolutions get a bad rap, but maybe we are just doing it wrong. Our fitness team share the top 5 reasons New Year's resolutions fail.
You Want Results Too Quickly
If your goal is to lose 50 pounds, there are hundreds of small steps you could take to accomplish that. Each could be an easy action to add to your life that could get you to your goal in a slow and steady manner, without feeling like you are making huge sacrifices. But for most of us, our excitement towards our goal brings about a huge overhaul of habits that can be overwhelming once the initial New Year's excitement wears off. Skip the crash diets and excessive workouts. Instead, start with one or two habits, and add a few more as the weeks go by.
You Don't Love the Process
If adding more cardio to your workouts is an essentially strategy to your goal of losing fat, you should absolutely enjoy the cardio workouts you're doing. Hate running? Cool - there are dozens of other activities you can try, like the elliptical or group fitness classes. If long bouts of any time of cardio bored you, try sprints! Choose an activitiy and alternate 30 seconds of all-out effort with 30-45 seconds of lower intensity effort.
Similarly grilled chicken and steamed broccoli might sound like a simple way to slash calories and get you to your goal more quickly, but if the thought of eating that every night makes you krinkle your nose, you're not going to be excited about your goal. It may take some effort to find new veggie-based recipes to incorporate into your life, but you may find that you actually enjoy the taste of zucchinni noodles or spaghetti squash over noodles - a win-win! Find ways to enjoy the process and you'll eliminate the problem of finding excuses not to maintain it.
You Goal isn't specific or measurable
If you haven't taken the time to develop measurable goals or short and long-term tactics to reach them, you're not set up to win. You know the saying... "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Thinking about your resolution, jot down some very specific action steps you can take to help you reach it. It's not enough to say that to lose 25 pounds, you are going to workout more and eat healthier. What does your workout plan entail? How many days per week? What types of workout will you do? What nutrition plan will you follow? And what is your timeframe? Consider breaking your goal into several smaller milestones, so you have measurable successes to celebrate along the way (5 pounds down, 10 pounds down, etc.)
You're Doing it alone
Staying motivated, especially as you get a few weeks into the process, can get tough... finding a support system is critical. In addition to surrounding yourself with people who believe in you, it's helpful to find people who are working towards the same goals. You'll create a built-in system of accountability - and bonus, the journey will be a lot more fun! Not sure where to find a support system? If your resolution is fitness-related, try a group fitness program to instantly find new fitness buddies. Or take to the web and find a meet-up group with like-minded people. You could even poll your Facebook connections! Bottom line: there is strength in numbers.
You Are Focused on the WHAT, not the WHY
Losing 30 pounds is a great goal - what why do you want to do that? Simply stating that being overweight isn't fun isn't enough. Is it because you want to be able to chase your child on the playground? Is it because you want to feel more confident in your clothes? Connecting to the reason you want the end result will help you stay focused in those tough times when presented with people and situations that have the potential to derail you. The why may also help you come up with some amazing ways to achieve your "why" that may be completely off your radar and potentially unrelated to your actual resolution. You'll create a mindset that can impact many areas of your life in a simple, organic way.