Turns out there is a reason we all don’t follow through with the ‘new year, new you’ resolutions we all make. We are all at fault for this, so no reason to feel bad or be singled out.
Psychologytoday.com has a great take on this in an article posted Dec 30th ‘Why People Can’t Keep Their New Year’s Resolutions by Ray Williams – Wired For Success.
Researchers have looked at success rates of peoples’ resolutions: The first two weeks usually go along beautifully, but by February people are backsliding. (we all see this at the gym)!
Psychology professor Peter Herman and his colleagues have identified what they call the “false hope syndrome,” which means their resolution is significantly unrealistic and out of alignment with their internal view of themselves. This principle reflects that of making positive affirmations. When you make positive affirmations about yourself that you don’t really believe, the positive affirmations not only don’t work, they can be damaging to your self-worth.
Having said that, if you feel compelled to make New Year’s resolutions, here’s some tips to help you make them work:
- Focus on one resolution, rather several and set realistic, specific goals. Losing weight is not a specific goal. Losing 10 pounds in 90 days would be;
- Don’t wait till New Year’s eve to make resolutions. Make it a year long process, every day;
- Take small steps. Many people quit because the goal is too big requiring too much effort and action all at once;
- Have an accountability buddy, someone close to you to whom you have to report; Your Trainer!
- Celebrate your success between milestones. Don’t wait the goal to be finally completed;
- Focus your thinking on new behaviors and thought patterns. You have to create new neural pathways in your brain to change habits;
- Focus on the present. What’s the one thing you can do today, right now, towards your goal?
- Be mindful. Become physically, emotionally and mentally aware of your inner state as each external event happens, moment-by-moment, rather than living in the past or future.