Your list of New Year’s Resolutions, written carefully on the first page of your still crisp and clean 2017 planner, stares back at you.
Barre class three days a week.
Pack lunch every day.
In bed by 10 pm on weekdays.
You were so hopeful when you wrote down your goals for 2017. Those New Year’s Resolutions seemed so simple, yet here you sit on the couch 11:03 pm. You haven’t been to class in two weeks and lunch has been from the coffee cart every day this week.
Which doesn’t make any sense to you. You’re an organized professional who always meets tight deadlines and the most demanding client expectations. Why can’t you meet your own expectations? Why is it that every year you fail at keeping New Year’s Resolutions?
According to Dr. John Berardi, PhD, CSCS and Co-founder of Precision Nutrition, it is because you forget to think of resolutions in the context of real human life. Most New Year’s Resolutions are set in the glow and optimism of a clean slate and not thinking about the challenges you face in the real world every day. “That diet plan, or workout DVD, or one-size-fits-all training program you pulled from Triathlon magazine was never built to accommodate sick kids or cancer treatment or your co-worker’s two-week vacation,” say Dr. Berardi.
This year can be different by rebooting your resolutions with a more realistic approach. Here’s how to move forward with a better plan to keep your New Year’s Resolutions going in 2017.
Avoid Resolution Overload
You can really only do one or two things at once and do them well. The fallacy of successfully multi-tasking is even more apparent when it comes to habit change. Dr. Jeff Burbank DC, PN1, SBN of Burbank Health & Chiropractic, says people start feeling guilty from the overindulgence of the holidays and feel compelled to wipe away all the wrongs in the New Year. “A better idea is to pick one habit to practice for a couple of weeks,” says Dr. Burbank. “Write yourself a note to remember your goal or set a phone reminder for the habit that you are practicing.” Give yourself a couple of weeks to practice that habit before you move on to the next one, he says, to improve your changes of success.
You can’t do it alone.
As Jim Rohn says, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If you’re hanging out with people who love happy hour and laugh at your brown bag lunch you’re going to have a hard time making changes that stick. Dr. Burbank says find friends with similar goals via social media or at the gym. “Go to your gym and over time you will see the same people. Pick a person who is happy with a smile on their face and introduce yourself. Get yourself a workout buddy and friend request them and check in with each other for support,” says Dr. Burbank.
You want your bikini body – NOW.
Getting healthy and losing weight is the top New Year’s Resolution according to The Nielsen Co. While it is possible to transform your body by your next vacation, it also takes a lot of hard work and doesn’t always lead to long-term health and fitness.
Instead of focusing on a short-term physique goal, which can lead to frustration when things don’t work as planned, Dr. Burbank says to re-frame the resolution in terms of WHY it really matters to you. “Peel the goal down to the basic feeling inside. Is confidence? Health? Assertive? Attractive? Happiness?”, say Dr. Burbank. When you focus on the long-term WHY, instead of a short-term goal, your chance of success as well as your confidence level increases.
Dr. Berardi also says not to lose sight of what you did accomplish last year.“Even if there’s lots you want to change, think back and call out at least two or three things you did well this past year. Give yourself a pat on the back for any and all signs of progress, no matter how small.” Then commit to starting fresh this year. Dr. Berardi says, “Show up each day and do what you can on that day. Don’t jump ahead. This is not a race. It’s not a diet. It’s your life.”