The sad fact about New Year’s Resolutions and how to actually keep them this year

It’s 2013!!

Studies show that 50% of people abandon their New year’s Resolutions after only three months. It shows too. The gym is always way more crowded in January, have you noticed? Come February, there are a few less people, in March even fewer and by April or so, parking spots are easier to find and there is no line for the cardio machines.

According to USA.gov, here are some of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions year after year:

  • Drink less alcohol
  • Eat healthy food
  • Get a better job
  • Save money
  • Take a trip
  • Manage debt
  • Manage Stress

Why do you think New Year’s Resolutions are so hard to keep? Here’s what I think tends to be the case:

  • They are not specific enough. Look at the above resolutions. When I read “eat healthy food” about a million questions scream out at me. What kind of healthy food? How much and how often? Are you still going to allow yourself cheat days? The list continues. Without clearly defined goals and a clearly defined time frame for accomplishing them, it is really easy to go through the motions and avoid committing.
  • They are not measurable. How do you know if you’ve accomplished stress-management? Is it based on physical symptoms such as no neck tension/headaches throughout the week? Is it based on your ability to fall asleep when your head hits the pillow at night, instead of tossing and turning for an hour? Do you commit to seeing a counselor for six weeks and reevaluate after that? How do you know if you are on the right track?
  • They are missing the end goal. Without a clear purpose, when the going gets tough, there will be no reason to keep going. It’s no secret I’m a fan of The Biggest Loser and (**Spoiler alert!) TC, the guy who left the show last Sunday was able to lose 40 pounds at home, after just one week at The Ranch. He accomplished this because he had a clear sense of purpose. Two years prior while driving with his son, they got rear-ended. TC’s seat broke, likely due to his weight, and crashed into his son who was sitting right behind him, causing multiple serious injuries. This reality check for TC propelled him toward a commitment to being a healthier, more active father and avoiding anything in the future where his weight could cause harm to someone he loves. You must have a compelling reason to commit to your New Year’s Resolutions or it will be easy to blow them off when times get tough.
  • There is no mention of accountability. Most of us simply don’t have the self-control to achieve difficult things on our own. We would rather quit than be uncomfortable.  Surround yourself with a trusted support system so that once the initial excitement of starting something new wears off, you have people around to remind you of your purpose and be your cheerleader!
Any goal, whether set on January 1st or not, is going to be challenging to meet. That is the nature of goals, especially when they have to do with accomplishing things we have been struggling with or putting off. So expect it to be hard. But, expect it to be worth it!!

Comments

  1. amen, sister! that is mostly the reason i don’t do new years resolutions. i figure if i want to make a change, I’ll do it NOW rather than wait for a date.

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