A new year, a new beginning, a new you. It’s that time once again when folks decide they need to make changes in order to be more successful or happier, to feel better, look better, or just be better. A new year is an opportunity to leave the old you behind and start fresh.
The good news is that if you’re thinking about making changes- you’ve already accomplished the first step. You’ve admitted you need a jump-start. But, the key to success is knowing why most resolutions are doomed from the beginning.
New Habits vs. Old Habits
Old habits die hard. You want to change, but that old routine just keeps getting in the way. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is losing weight and getting in shape. It’s why gym memberships jump by as much as 30% in some cities every January. People look at themselves and decide this is the year “I’m going to lose that 10 pounds,” or “get rid of that spare tire.”
The mistake is not wanting to change, but trying to do it all at once. Think of it this way- it took time to gain that weight. You’re not going to lose it overnight. Just as you’re not going to get into shape overnight. Pushing yourself too hard, too fast is stressful. And, it’s too easy to fall back into old routines and habits when you’re stressed.
Major change takes time and effort. To lose weight and get in shape, you’re going to have to change the way you exercise and the way you eat. It’s something that happens over a few weeks or months rather than a few days. It’s why gyms are crowded the first few weeks of the year and then empty out again. Folks find they can’t stick to their overly ambitious resolution, get discouraged and quit.
In fact, studies show that 92% of those who make resolutions fail.
Your Brain’s not on Board
There’s a science behind New Year’s resolutions. Specifically, why the brain has a hard time maintaining them. The problem is that some folks make too many.
In an experiment conducted at Stanford, one group of students was given a two-digit number to memorize while the other group was given a seven-digit number. Then, the students were asked to walk down a hallway while remembering their number and make the choice once they reached the end to eat a slice of cake or fruit salad.
The students who memorized the bigger number were twice as likely to choose cake over the fruit salad. The bottom line- having too much (too many numbers) on the brain messed with their ‘good decision making’ space. Their brains were overtaxed so they didn’t take the time to decide which choice was the better one.
Be the Change
Making a resolution or setting new goals should be because YOU want to do it. Don’t let outside pressure push you into doing something you really don’t want to. That’s a sure fire way to set yourself up for failure.
We attain the goals we set because we embrace them- its something WE want to accomplish- and believe the payoff is worth the effort. You’re going to be doing all the work, so make sure you’re in it to win it.
We Can Help
At Icelandic Fitness, we work with you to achieve your goals. We can help you revamp your diet and keep your resolutions, with one-on-one or small group coaching and training. It’s not one size fits all, it’s training that’s as individual as you are.
Contact us for a free consultation.
Jason Stone or Erica Clarkson