When it comes to New Year's resolutions a good 80-92% of people fail. Often we are looking for a quick fix or derailed by small failures. There's a lot of advice about setting specific goals and making elaborate vision boards and sharing goals with friends and family. Support groups both physical and virtual can also be really successful.
Yet failure persists at an astounding rate.
I believe that when we start to fail or have that feeling we are failing, those very support systems we put in place to help us succeed can serve to magnify our failure and reduce our ability to make a come-back. The key problem, just like the solution, is often inside us. Often the very things we are trying to change are tied to an elaborate system we have created to get us *into* the very problem we are trying to escape. Systems have a tendency to autocorrect. so if you try to change one component of it, without addressing it as a whole, it might derail for a bit but then eventually will lead back to where it is comfortable. For us, this often translates into failure.
Let's take weight loss for example. This one is a loaded popular one this season. Weight gain can have so many causes. Any of these creates a whole host of problems that connect like a web to produce a compounding effect. So if you are over eating for comfort and take away the food, will you feel good about eating less? Weight loss is a slow process and ice cream is right there, right now. Weight gain also happens slowly and by the time we realize it habits are ingrained and it has already gotten a head start.
How about exercise? Exercise is a great way to get endorphins and chemically alter your brain while firing up metabolism and really speeding up change. It also goes against our very primal survival instinct to conserve energy and to store fat for a rainy day- aka laziness. I am still lazy. I am a lazy fitness specialist in fact. It takes will power to stay on a fitness routine, despite the immediate, good feelings.
We are constantly on a quest for balance on an ever changing playing field with ever changing perceptions. Inside, each of us has the seeds we need to grow and change.
Often when we are embarking on a fitness goal we are comparing ourselves at our starting point to someone who is at a completely different stage, usually quite fit, and we have this cavalier notion we can achieve THAT which they may have worked for for years or be naturally predetermined towards, to our weakness i.e. body type. Perhaps we are remembering how we were years ago and assume it can happen again quickly. This constitutes mental self battery. To add insult to injury, with all the recent press about the ills of photoshop our response remains emotional and we continue to set ourselves up for failure or quit altogether.
What is your New Year's Resolution? Do you need a date to start or are you fired up now? Is it a realistic goal for you? Can you visualize it? Can you identify your pitfalls and weaknesses in advance so that you can treat yourself with kindness and love as you would nurture a child learning to skate?
How can you listen to that inside voice that *wants to do this* and let *it* lead the way in a loving, supportive way?
Identify your naysayer(s) providing obstacles. Are they deceptively practical? We can be very creative at building barriers to self care. Often they are disguised as "self-sacrifice", "obligation", "scheduling" and "fatigue". Sometimes, any or all of these might be valid. What we also need to throw in there is a healthy measure of selfishness in the same way we might for a TV show or time on social media - two notorious time wasters with no benefit.
Determine how realistic your goal and plan are. You cannot lose 50 lbs in 21 days and be healthy. You cannot be late for work to exercise every day and still keep your job. You can not reasonably expect to come home after a day at work, have dinner, watch TV and then work out, consistently. Yes, you can make a workable schedule, eat healthy affordably, get fit and toned without that fancy machine... all of that. How will you do that? How much time can you consistently dedicate to working out? What is your fitness level? What is a workable program to get results without burning out? That will also help determine a program that works for you. Visualizing your workout time as a treat that fits in your schedule sets a whole host of success factors in motion that pave the way for you while you enjoy the ride.
Talk to those internal nay sayers as you would to help and nurture a child. Constructing a practical framework that works for you will help ensure you are in the 8% that nails the resolution, whenever you make it.
The only magic is inside. Everything else is decorative. Enjoy the ride, whatever your medium.
TheresaWV uses immunity boosting nutrition principles along with efficient fitness concepts and the Internal Family Systems Model to empower individuals to make lasting, transformative changes in their health and lives. TheresaWV is Mom on a mission to help people lead healthful lives using principles that enable people to be self lead and healthy so they can focus ore time on doing what they love most. For questions or to request a consultation she can be reached here.