Has your resolution already gone down the toilet? You had such high hopes that it was going to be different this time. You were so motivated….until you weren’t. Most people can maintain changes for a while. Research has shown that it can take more than 60 days to form healthy habits. Sadly, it only takes a couple to form unhealthy habits! After about three weeks of healthy behaviors, our motivation starts to dwindle. It feels hard and our goal feels so far away. This is when self-sabotage is lurking around the corner. It gets harder and we start the backslide. The more we struggle, the more we feel like a failure and ask ourselves why we even bothered to try at all. Sound familiar? There are a few reasons why this happens…..
- Your heart wasn’t in it. Was your goal preceded by, “I should….”? I should eat “better”. I should exercise. Well, I can tell you that if you are using the word should, it’s simply not going to happen, my friend. At that point, your heart isn’t in it. You feel obligated. It isn’t about what you want, but what you think is expected of you. Until you really want it or the discomfort of staying the same is greater than the discomfort of changing, you will not have much incentive to follow through.
- You are focusing on an outcome instead of a goal. If your goal is based on weight, you will fail. There are too many factors that influence that little number on the scale to truly be effective. Instead, focus on what you are going to DO to achieve the weight loss outcome. What behaviors will you change to have the outcome you desire? Will you eat at home more instead of going out? Will you park further away at work and when running errands? Will you incorporate more fruits and vegetables? Whatever small steps you decide to take will add up over time, but you must focus on the behavior. Plus, for most people, they just get a number stuck in their head and it isn’t based on what their body wants. That too is a should!
- You are doing the same thing that hasn’t worked. In AA, they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. By that standard, every dieter I know is insane! Well, that and when we are calorie deprived, we are out of our minds! Stop trying to do the same thing to achieve your goals. If you find yourself sabotaging your efforts over and over again, the solution is not to simply try harder! There is clearly something holding you back and until you address the underlying issues, you will continue this pattern again and again. That is where therapy can be so powerful. Once you understand why you are stuck in this cycle, you can gain the necessary skills to break it!