Many people make New Year’s Resolutions – often that they don’t keep. The most common resolution is to lose weight and get in shape. Here are a few tips to help you achieve success in reaching your New Year’s Resolutions!
Recent research shows that while 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals.
A separate study in 2007 by Richard Wisemen from the University of Bristol showed that 78% of those who set New Year resolutions fail.
The Science of Failed Resolutions by John Lehrer (Wall Street Journal) gives some great insight into why achieving goals can be so difficult.
4 Tips to Help you Keep your Fitness Resolutions in 2012
1. Start Small – Make Measurable, Achievable Goals
Most people have great intentions and start out strong but old habits are hard to break. Creating a healthy lifestyle is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. Start with small changes that you know you can commit to. If you try to do too much too fast you’ll get overwhelmed and burn out quickly. If you are new to exercise start with just 2- 3 days a week for 10-30 minutes. Set yourself up for success – make achievable goals and as time goes by keep making new ones. Don’t just say “lose weight.” Make it a goal to lose 1 lb per week or to fit into your size 6’s at the end of the month. Make small, measurable goals.
2. Share your Resolutions – Find Peer Support
“Resolutions are more sustainable when shared, both in terms of with whom you share the benefits of your resolution, and with whom you share the path of maintaining your resolution. Peer-support makes a difference in success rate with new year’s resolutions” – Frank Ra
Friends and family are great resources. But it can be extremely helpful to have a support group or a fitness coach who won’t get tired of your weight-loss journey stories- of listening to your frustrations, helping you to answer questions, encouraging you through the difficult times, sharing in your successes etc.
Researchers found that willpower requires energy – in the form of calories. In a 2007 experiment, Prof. Baumeister and his colleagues found that students who fasted for three hours and then had to perform a variety of self-control tasks, such as focusing on a boring video or suppressing negative stereotypes, had significantly lower glucose levels than students who didn’t have to exert self-control. Willpower, in other words, requires real energy. Depriving yourself could end up costing you in the end.
4. Plan Ahead- Write it down
Behavior change doesn’t happen automatically. Just like projects at work, personal development requires pen-to-paper planning. Not only does this help you think through the potential obstacles and develop an action plan but also reinforces your commitment to your goal.
Need help developing your plan? I would love to be part of your journey!