Many of us love the idea of having a fresh start in January, especially when it’s about taking care of ourselves. Unfortunately, most of us at this time of the month, end up feeling frustrated and disappointed. It’s a fact that by the middle of January, 84% have broken every promise made about how much healthier, better, fitter, slimmer, we were going to become in 2019!
Self-improvement is a wonderful thing, but January has nothing magical about it that could make change happen any easier or quicker. No doubt whilst making your plans for a new start for a new year, that little voice in your head was ladening your good intentions with reminders of past failures.
So why do we fail?
We often fail due to our own high expectations – promising to attend the gym every morning at 6 am, (when the last time the lycra leggings saw daylight was twenty years ago).
Often we want to see results quickly, so we make changes in a dramatic way to try to achieve those results – like giving up a daily bottle of wine, or sugar intake overnight.
We also believe that relying on our will power will be enough, or if that fails, we could try that magical tool called ‘self-discipline’. (Unfortunately over time, the more we have to rely on these traits, the less effective they become).
Simply put, our well-intentioned resolutions for healthy change are often too dramatic, too radical and too ambitious. We fail because we ask too much of ourselves all in one go.
So what do we do stay on track for the long haul?
1. Build Confidence in yourself. Make your first goal so small, it will be virtually impossible to fail. Practise that for one week. Then set another small goal and begin to practise both for one week, then add in a third, etc etc
2. Lose the Perfectionism. Focusing your attention on realistic, small goals first is a great way to lose the ‘all or nothing’ thinking. Being a perfectionist is the ‘perfect’ way to set yourself up for failure.
3. Be kind – lasting change comes from a place of self-love and respect, not from hating how you look, or because you are comparing yourself to an airbrushed celebrity.
4. Be realistic and practical – what changes would you have to make in your world for a new resolution to be achievable.
5. Be patient – real change happens over months, not days.
6. Finally, ask yourself why you want to change in the first place. There has to be a compelling reason for you to want something different, compared to what you already have. The reason needs to be big, powerful, compelling, and worthwhile doing – if it isn’t – you’ll find it hard to maintain.
Wishing you good health and happiness for 2019.