An estimated 40% of Americans make resolutions every year for everything from weight loss to quitting smoking. According to last year’s statistics, only about 8% actually achieve them. Why do we keep doing this to ourselves? Here are some reasons we don’t keep our resolutions.
- We think we “should” make a resolution. We create an expectation of change when our heart isn’t in it. When we don’t follow through, we shame ourselves. We tend to go through the motions without much intention to create change.
- Our goals aren’t realistic. We overwhelm ourselves. We tend to try to change everything at once or make the goal so big it seems impossible to accomplish. Try breaking things down into smaller pieces. By focusing on small chunks, you can take one step at a time and it becomes easier to follow through.
- We expect perfection. As soon as we don’t meet the expectations of our resolution perfectly, we give up because we think we have failed. Instead of throwing in the towel, learn from the obstacle. We put so much pressure on ourselves that we set ourselves up for feeling like a failure.
- We don’t plan ahead. Sure, weight loss seems like a great resolution, but we don’t really plan what we need to do to make that a reality, so when 1/1 comes, we aren’t prepared for what we need to be able to be successful. We also don’t prepare ourselves for how difficult the change may be. Be prepared for obstacles and identify strategies to help you be successful when things are challenging.
This year, instead of making a New Year’s resolution for weight loss, start focusing on small changes. If you want to change your eating, don’t cut out foods. Focus on adding healthy foods instead of depriving yourself of foods you love. If you want to increase your exercise, engage in any enjoyable activity that gets your body moving. Break weight loss down into small measurable and realistic steps. You are much more likely to be successful!