Let’s start by saying… the statistics are bleak and we don’t think that’s a huge secret. According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, just 8 per cent of people achieve their New Year’s goals, while around 80 per cent fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions. Roughly 55 per cent of New Year’s resolutions were health related, such as exercising more, eating healthier. In addition, research shows that people tend to give up on their New Years resolution by January 12.
We thought it would be appropriate to address this now, as a lot of people who are keen on bettering themselves use this time of year to throw in the towel saying that 2020 will be “THE YEAR”. It is common to cruise through the final two months of the year thinking, “ah you know I’m just going to relax. It’s been a tough year of me trying. I need to give myself a break.” But unfortunately, our idea of a break most likely consists of booze, chocolate, overindulging and the like. Is that actually a break? Putting your body through even more digestive trauma? That’s a whole other story though… let’s take a few steps back.
We’d like to take a deeper look at that statement of “I need to give myself a break”. You waltzed into 2019 feeling hot and ready to take on the world. But then things happened—you got sick, someone else got sick, work troubles happened, your partner ticked you off, your kids drove you nuts, you skipped the gym for weeks at a time, you emotionally ate and really just ALL of the life things happened.
Well guess what. You think 2020 will be smooth sailing? We’re here to tell you that this is life. S*** happens and it happens when you least expect it. Are you prepared to stick to your goals when there’s a brick wall placed right in front of you that you are forced to find a way to climb? Or are you going to sit there and wait for someone to bring you a ladder. Spoiler: the ladder isn’t coming and you’ll be waiting there for a long time. If your goals are based on wishing and hoping without a strategic action plan, chances are, nothing will change.
Are you ready to implement self-care techniques when something stands in your way? Are you prepared to detour past your impulsive and reactive behaviour (ie yelling, screaming, crying, hurting others, booze, food) and look for more appropriate ways to handle tough situations?
We’ve put together a few ideas that may help you stick to your New Years resolution with more intention and commitment.
1) Start small. “I want to lose weight” is a massive goal— and a goal without a strategic plan of action is bound to fail. Nobody would start a new business without a business plan. So think of this as your business; your bread and butter. Make an elaborate LONG TERM plan that you can refer back to as the year goes on. In addition, make it realistic because we all know losing 10kg in one month isn’t going to happen. If you’re a creative mind, design something that appeals to you like a vision board. If you’re a writer, find a day planner or a journal that suits you visually and spiritually and emotionally. If you’re an audio type of person, record yourself and play your goals on repeat on your drive to work in the morning.
2) In your plan, include circumstantial management techniques. One example could be “what to do when you forget to bring your healthy lunch to work”. Instead of being angry with yourself, being reactive and saying “screw it I’m getting a kebab”, do a little research of what’s around you when you’re in a pinch. Furthermore, devise an action plan to ensure that you’re not going to forget your packed meals, for example, leaving your empty lunch bag in front of your door the night before as a reminder.
3) Build a routine. You know what makes you feel good. On days that you don’t go to the gym in the morning, perhaps you can take a 20 minute walk outside and soak up a little sun which makes everyone feel good. It’s not a big secret that it gets cold in the winter months, so devise a routine for when that time comes. This may be doing a 20 minute at home workout in your pajamas before everyone else wakes up.
4) You know that you will take a holiday at some point. You know that school holidays will happen. You know there are plenty of long weekends, occasions, birthdays etc. Devise plans, strategies, recipes and habits that you can encompass when your regular routine gets disturbed. For example, you can commit to finding a healthy protein ball recipe that you and your family can snack on for a local long weekend getaway, instead of munching on crisps and biscuits. Don’t get caught out in a panic when the time comes!
If you read our last post, you know that the number one thing that needs to change in order to see results is your behaviour. It’s not lifting heavier weights, it’s not choosing skim milk over full fat milk and it’s not avoiding bread. If you can focus on behaviour related techniques to cultivate a healthy and realistic New Years resolution, not only will you reach your goal, but you will set yourself up for long term success.