The new years resolution – we’ve all made them at some time or other. What is interesting about the new years resolution is why so many people fail to follow through. Researchers have looked at success rates and usually the way it goes is the first two weeks are great. By February people are backsliding and by the following December, most people are back to where they started – often even further behind. So, the question is why do so many people fail to follow through? Most of the reasons people give for not following through can be narrowed down to two major categories:
Making resolutions work
Making resolutions work is essentially about changing behaviours and in order to do that you have to change your thinking or if you like “rewire” your brain. Researchers have discovered through the use of MRIs, that habitual behaviour is created by thinking patterns that create neural pathways and memories. These neural pathways and memories become the default basis for your behaviours when you’re faced with a choice or decision. Change requires creating new neural pathways from new thinking.
Setting realistic goals
The other thing is most people set unrealistic goals and expectations in their resolutions. In order to be successful you need to set realistic, specific goals. For example, losing weight is not a specific goal – losing 10 pounds in 90 days would be. The key is to make any goal a habit first, and most importantly make it manageable. So, if you have made a new years resolution here are some tips to help make it work:
- Take small steps. Many people quit because the goal is to big requiring too big a step all at once.
- Set realistic goals.
- Focus on one resolution rather than several.
- New years eve is not the only time to make a resolution. Make it a year long process – every day!
- Focus your thinking on new behaviours and thought patterns. You have to create new neural pathways in your brain to change your habits.
- Focus on the present. What’s the one thing you can do today, right now, towards your goal.
- Be mindful. Become physically, emotionally and mentally aware of your inner state as each external event happens, moment by moment, rather than living in the past or future.
- Celebrate your success between milestones.
It doesn’t take pyschic abilities to know that all of us have made resolutions to be fit and healthy and the best you can possibly be in 2014. The benefits of exercise extend far beyond weight management. Research shows that regular exercise can help reduce your risk of disease and health conditions and improve your overall quality of life. The bottom line on exercise is that it will make you feel and look great, and ensure you stay that way.