How to keep your New Year’s resolution « 59 Seconds#more-281
If you've pinned up a photo of your ideal physique on the fridge as a motivator, become really excited about losing weight, or jumped into a hyped up fitness class without preparation or careful thought, chances are you will not achieve your New Year's resolution goal.
According to Richard Wisemans research, only 12% of people achieve their New Year's goals.
Wiseman followed 700 people to track their success in achieving New Years resolutions. Research has shown us that only 5 to 10% of people achieve their diet and exercise goals so Wisemans results of only 12% of New Years resolutions being met supports similar research.
Turns out that typical "guru" advice that is pumped up with hype to get you excited about achieving super goals in a short time is one of the most effective ways to fail. Why? It sounds so good at the time; how could something that makes you feel excited and positive be wrong?
It's Superficial. Short term, hyped, overly enthusiastic goals are not deeply rooted in our psyche. Without a concrete reason and long term personal commitment we're doomed to failure.
Don't feel blue though; while only 12% succeed at achieving their weight loss and fitness New Years resolutions you can do it. Just do what those who have succeeded do:
Here are some of the tips Dr. Richard Wiseman put together based on his research:
Break your goals into small steps that are easy to achieve, and back those up with a small reward each time you achieve them. Be careful though.. avoid making a "reward" something that is unhealthy as that will only bolster your attachment to unhealthy habits..
Tell friends and family. This can make you feel accountable as well as develop a support group for you.
Expect to revert to old habits a few times before you make the permanent changes required to be successful long term. It's natural to feel pulled by the sense of reward that is attached to unhealthy habits. When you do revert look at it as an opportunity to challenge your reward association: "No, this isn't healthy or rewarding, I'll do better next time"..
Keep records. Seeing your progress in writing on a chart keeps you motivated. Nothing motivates like success!
Wondering if you have what it takes to succeed? Dr. Wiseman has quick questionnaire that can help you find out.
My advice? Be honest with yourself and think long term. Realise that the only way to achieve your goals is to make permanent changes to your lifestyle. This means getting rid of old values and reward associations and making new ones that support healthy living. Example: If you think that eating less all week ought to be rewarded by overeating extra crap calories on the weekend you will fail long term.
Instead turn that around and feel rewarded by making healthy exercise and eating choices and see the overeating as a step backwards. Practice this association and eventually you won't be attracted or as attracted to unhealthy habits.