The Resolution Solution
We are almost to the New Year, and statistically
about half of Americans usually make resolutions. That’s good, because “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions”.
What percentage of people are successful in achieving their resolutions?
Just eight percent.
Why is that? Is there something wrong with 92% of the people? Does 8% of the population have a “keep your resolution” genetic mutation? 😉
As a trainer, I can tell you…the problem is probably with the resolution, not the person.
Resolutions are like any other goals I talk about on the Wellness Wall.
First, don’t base your resolution on results, which tend to be out of your control. For example, don’t resolve to lose ten kilos or twenty pounds in 2017. There are so many factors which could affect that, including good ones, like putting on muscle weight.
Instead, base your resolution on actions you will do. “I will walk at least 10,000 steps at least three days of every week.” If you aren’t sure what actions will help you realize your vision, consult with someone (like a Registered Dietitian for intake options).
Second, keep your goals small and your dreams big! When you set a resolution for an action, it should be something you are comfortable you can achieve 90% of the time (flukes are going to mean you can’t do it every time, or at least, you shouldn’t commit to that). If 10,000 is a challenge, make it 5,000.
Third, only increase your action goal slowly. Do one action over and over until you are a bit bored with it, then slightly increase and stay at that level until you are bored with that. 🙂 You want lots of success, so you’ll keep doing it. If you make 10,000 and decide to keep going with no end point in mind, you’ll go until you fail…and then you won’t want to try it again.
Fourth, it’s all about the framing! It’s not that you HAVE to exercise, it’s that you GET to exercise. Very few people in the world have the luxury of exercising just for their own wellness, not to accomplish a task! Find a reason: exercise to benefit something else, not just you. Taking care of yourself is taking care of others.
Fifth, track and reward. You need to know you are meeting your goals, and you can’t do that if you don’t track. Consider letting yourself buy a present if you are consistent in the goal (not for a single mighty effort). Three months of hitting your weekly goal 90% of the time means you go to the movies, for example. Don’t make it an unhealthy indulgence…you don’t want to equate being unhealthy with a good thing. Yes, exercising more means you can eat more good food (calories out/calories in), but don’t tell yourself that you deserve a glazed donut because you’ve been working out so much.
Finally, consider sharing your progress with others…that helps motivate some people.
You’re not going to be just one year older…you are going to be one year better! 🙂
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