Why Your Resolutions Will Fail, and How to Fix Them
If you've ever been to the gym when the New Year's resolutioners come in, you notice that by February the herd has thinned out quite a bit.
While there are many reasons your resolutions don't stick, one of the reason is that you are not mentally prepared for it. Sure, losing weight sounds nice, but do you really want to take the necessary steps to achieve that?
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Unless you are going to put the work into achieving your goals, quit wasting your time and building up such anxiety because you "aren't doing it."
To get a little more technical, there's a Transtheoretical Model of Health Behavior Change. This model has five stages of changes that help give you a reality check and really asks you if you are really ready to do it.
5 Stages of Making a New Year's Resolution Stick
Stage #1 - Precontemplation
For this stage, you really are alright where you are. You may have thoughts like, "I don't want to lose weight" or "I don't exercise and I'm not changing it."
Similar to a smoker who doesn't want to quit smoking, you have to want the change before you can make it happen.
This is the stage you're in when people maybe poke fun how your clothes no longer fit as well or if you have your life set up how you want it, even if you aren't happy.
Stage #2 - Contemplation
This stage is more of an "I may change, I may not" stage. You know you should lose weight, but you really don't want to do anything about it.
Maybe you're a little overweight and want to get rid of 20 pounds... You don't really exercise, but you start thinking how you should at least move around more.
The thought kind of scares you, makes you think it's going to suck, and you pretty much don't have any reason to really try to accomplish the resolution.
Stage #3 - Preparation
Many people who want to lose weight stay at this stage.
You are going to change, but you aren't quite ready yet. This is the stage where most people get paralysis by analysis instead of just getting off of their butts and doing something.
They want to read every weight loss article, they want to see what gadgets and supplements are out there, and they generally have a decent reason to change.
These are the "I'll start eating healthy on Monday" type of people. They want the resolution pretty bad, but they aren't actually doing anything they know they need to do.
Stage #4 - Action
This is the stage that you really need to strive to hit.
This stage is that you've already started making changes, and now you are solidifying those new healthy habits.
Maybe you've started eating more at home, cooking your meals. You've cut down on junk food and started eating more vegetables and fruits.
You've probably already signed up at a gym or found a partner to exercise with. Good job, you're doing it.
You haven't hit your resolution yet, but you are getting the healthy habits into place.
Stage #5 - Maintenance
If you've reached this stage, you've already made healthy habit changes, you've started doing a lot of what you know you need to do, and you start building from those healthy habits.
Maybe you start enjoying healthy foods, eating salads, and preparing tasty meals for yourself. You meal prep, you look forward to your training sessions, and you're starting to become a savage.
If you've made it here, the hard work is over. The bad habits that got you to the shape you were in have completely changed and if you maintain the healthy habits, your body will reflect this.
How to Actually Accomplish Your Resolution
Before you start telling everyone your resolutions, take a hard reality check and see where you are at in the model.
If you are hesitant to change and you really don't want it... You are setting yourself up for failure. Sure, the idea sounds nice, but that's about as far as it will go.
Just because you want to get healthier, it doesn't mean you have to drastically change everything overnight.
Start with trying to get more restful sleep and start finding time to cook healthy meals. Remember, a steak on the grill with some grilled asparagus and a sweet potato is healthy, tasty, and is better than any bullcrap you will find at a fast food restaurant.
If you're just starting out, my recommendation is to quit looking at the cons of getting healthy such as needing to take time to exercise (missing out on free time) or find time to shop and meal prep. A small step like this is a quick way to make huge habit changes easy.
You will start to see how much the pros of maintaining a healthy lifestyle far outweigh the perceived cons.
Be unbearably honest with yourself and make things happen in 2018.
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