Why a Resolution isn’t the Solution
The New Year marks a time for fresh starts with a new resolution. People join gyms, quit smoking, go on diets. All very laudable ideas. Except most of them fail. Here’s why:
Health behaviour change because you dislike something about yourself is less likely to stick than if you change something because you feel you are worth the better version of you. If you start by beating yourself up for being overweight/unfit, at the first obstacle your response will be to tell yourself you are a failure, which means you will more than likely just give up.
If we chose to eat healthier, not because we hate how we look, but because we realise we deserve to feel great and energised, we are more likely to just re-start and refocus if we’ve had a day where the cake snuck in or the work out didn’t happen.
WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND OURSELVES:
If you don’t know why you can’t stop munching biscuits in the evening, how are you meant to change? There’s a reason behind all our behaviours and habits. Is it because we are bored? Is it because we seeking a reward? Is it because we are anxious? Unless you take the time to identify the real trigger behind your behaviour, you are unlikely to change. Once you understand why you do something, you can work on other ways of meeting that need.
WE NEED TO PLAN: when we vow to work out five times a week or eat more veggies, we need to look at all the things that can derail us. What will you do to make sure there is time to exercise in your day? How will you resist when someone brings a plate of cake into the office? If you haven’t planned how to handle all these weak spots before they happen, your resistance will be lower.
WE NEED TO MAKE THE HEALTHY OPTION THE EASY OPTION:
How often do you reach for the pack of crisps because they are there? What if they weren’t? What if the grab and go option was a healthy snack, a handful of nuts or chopped veg? Notice how shops make grabbing sweets and cakes so easy for you, you need to make grabbing the healthy item easiest. How? A fruit bowl on your desk? Pre-prepared healthy lunches to take to work.
Making healthy changes requires self-love, self-understanding, planning and strategically setting up ways to make it easy. So resist the urge to create a resolution that sets you up to fail and take the time you need to succeed.