Creating New Year’s Resolutions You Won’t Give Up On
“This year, I’m finally going to get a gym membership and exercise more.” That is a line many are very familiar with. In fact, according to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 64% of participants admitted to giving up on their new year’s resolutions by February. While it is always encouraged to set physical fitness goals, for most of us, it usually ends in frustration. Then the cycle continues.
Be nice to yourself!
There are a few reasons why we tend to give up on weight loss/fitness resolutions; the most common being that many set high, unsustainable goals, without having a plan. Resolutions are not meant to be a “quick fix,” rather, they are intended to change a pattern of behavior that will lead to a happier, healthier, you. Yet we often see that the resolutions we set for ourselves only create unnecessary pressure for us to crave immediate change. And for those already suffering from depression, anxiety, and other stressors, not being able to see immediate results may only accentuate those feelings.
This year, rather than creating new year’s resolutions that will cause stress or anxiety, create resolutions that encourage self-care and positivity. Create a goal to eat dinner as a family five times a week, or to call an old friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Most importantly, if you “fail” to meet your goal, that’s okay! Don’t be afraid to forgive yourself if you accidentally get off track – just pick yourself back up and keep working towards your goal.
It all starts with a plan
In the aforementioned study, researchers noted that 64% of participants’ resolutions were vague, often using terms such as “get fit” or “exercise more.” But what does “getting fit” or “exercising more” even mean? Creating vague, arbitrary resolutions become easy to explain away because they lack structure. Instead, try setting goals that will create positive and sustainable habits. Rather than saying “I’m going to exercise more,” try making your resolution “I going to exercise 30 minutes, five days a week.” The best part – that can be whatever you want it to be. Go for a walk, pick up a new hobby such as badminton, sign up for a 5k and challenge a friend to join you, it doesn’t matter! Anything that gets you moving for your designated time is an improvement and needs to be celebrated.
Furthermore, if you have a goal to “lose weight,” specify the amount you want to lose, and map out your progress throughout the year. Check in with yourself every few months and keep track of the progress you are making. You may find that having a detailed plan will help you visualize your progress and help you achieve your goals. Also, but sure to keep your schedule and what is realistic in mind. Don’t commit to going to the gym five times a week, when you know you can only go twice a week.
The purpose of this blog is not to deter you from setting high goals for yourself this upcoming new year. Quite the opposite! The purpose is to help you set goals that truly reflect you and your uniqueness and will provide actual change in your life. You might just find a new passion or hobby along the way.
And if you really want a reason to get moving this new year, be sure to visit your local animal shelter and adopt a puppy!
Photo by Martins Zemlickis on Unsplash