2021 is officially here and like many, you're probably excited about getting a fresh start! Are you prepared to make the most of it?
You may be deciding for the first time (or again!) to make some serious changes in your health and wellness. With January at your doorstep, you're ready to spring into action!
Are one of these most popular health-related New Year's resolutions yours?
- Lose weight
- Quit smoking
- Exercise more often
- Eat a healthier diet
If so, congratulations on wanting to make a positive commitment to your health. You are in good company too - almost 40% of New Year's Resolutions that people make are based on health and fitness! However, before you get started on your new and exciting venture, read on to make sure you're chasing the right resolutions or you and how to really achieve them in 2021.
The truth about New Year's Resolutions
The sad fact is that most resolutions fail, year on year. According to studies, New Year's resolutions failover 80% of the time!
Some of the reasons they fail:
- Lack of goal clarity
- It's not an actual goal (that you care about deep down)
- There are unconscious motives, habits and behaviours that stop you from achieving it
- Lack of strategy
- Unrealistic timelines
- Circumstances change
You don't need to be a statistic. By following some simple rules, you can make sure you achieve the success you deserve.
1. Make your goal clear and achievable:
If your goal is to 'lose weight'- don't just stop there. Visualise how your end result will look like. Take time to tune into how you'll feel, how you'll move, what actions you'll be taking.
Instead of having a vague desire like 'I want to lose weight', turn it into a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound). A great tip is to take the focus away from the weight-loss itself, which can often be discouraging. Instead, put the focus on a behaviour goal.What kind of person do you need to be to achieve your goal?
If it requires profound behaviour change, consider what people who are dedicated to fitness do:
- Prioritise exercise at least 3 times per week
- Plan and prepare meals in advance
- Eat a variety of whole foods 80% of the time
- Prioritise sleep with at least 7 hours of shut-eye
- Supplement where necessary
A SMART goal might be:
Do a structured 6-week resistance training program at the gym for 45 minutes, 4 times a week.
2. Ask yourself - why?
Why do you want what you want? Ask yourself this question at least five times. Doing this will allow you to uncover deeper motivations than just, for example, 'losing weight' because you feel a bit heavy.
When the 'why' is strong enough, the 'how's take care of themselves. When you truly value a goal, you will do what is necessary to achieve it, even when times get difficult. Make sure the goals you're setting are from YOU and not simply 'injected' goals from your family, friends, school, work, religion, community or even gym!
If you find you're not doing the necessary action steps to achieve your goal, his is a clear sign it's not in your highest values. If this is the case, change your plan to match your values, or change your values to reach your goal!
3. Set mini-goals and celebrate your progress
Nothing is more deflating than falling far short of a huge goal. If you're planning something significant like losing 20 kilos or doing a triathlon, break up your overarching goal into smaller ones. Not only will it feel more achievable, but you'll also get a pleasant dose of dopamine every time you achieve a small milestone.
If you're looking to lose weight, you may set a mini-goal of completing your 6-week program. At the end, you can look back and feel proud of having committed to yourself for this time, and take note of all the wonderful achievements. You may have indeed lost centimetres around the waist, but you also might've gotten stronger, perhaps you're sleeping better, maybe you've even made some new friends!
- What smaller goals can you set to break up the big New Year's resolution?
- How can you celebrate each little win? (try to think of non-food focused ideas)
Whether you're looking to completely overhaul your life or just make small tweaks to your health and fitness regime, you've got it in you to make real change. Embrace the New Year with all the opportunity and challenges that it will bring, and you'll be in a great place to achieve your most desired resolutions!
Luciani, J. (2015). Why 80 Percent of New Year's Resolutions Fail. Retrieved from https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/2015-12-29/why-80-percent-of-new-years-resolutions-fail.