“New Year, New Me” as the saying goes. Every year we make a little list of promises, step in front of the mirror, and tell ourselves this year will be our year. We start the first week of January strong and with so much energy even our pets get scared. We think it’s not so bad, and that we can keep doing this until next year.
Then it got too cold to wake up early, you got sick of the people inside the gym, and your buddy offered you a cigarette you couldn’t resist and a pint of ice cream that looked too beautiful to ignore. And just like that you’re back to square one. How do you get back on track?
Why We Fail At Keeping Resolutions
People say only 8% are able to follow through their resolutions which means only 8 out of 100 people who promised themselves they would quit smoking, cut back on sugar, or lose weight actually manage to be successful. What’s worse, more than 80% quit on themselves around February which is crazy as it has been barely a month since the new year rolled in.
“Come the first of January, the hoards of enthusiastic resolutions-ers account for the swelling number of gym, yoga and Pilates memberships as the diet books fly off the bookstore shelves. By the second week of February, some 80 percent of those resolution-ers are back home with a new kind of remorse staring back at them in the mirror – the remorse of disappointment.“
Why do we fail? What makes a simple To-Do list so hard to follow?
Well, chances are you’re doing it wrong. Below are some of the ways to completely ruin your New Year’s Resolutions list.
- You make one too many resolutions. You thought it was a good idea to list down so many things last December. After all, the more you try to accomplish, the more you might actually end up completing. The problem with that is lists have a way of intimidating their owners especially when a significant amount of time has passed and they haven’t really acted on anything.
- You don’t have confidence in yourself. The first few weeks feel like heaven and you end up getting so revved up to finish what’s on your list as fast as possible. Then you wake up one morning and see other people on social media do it way, way better than you. You compare yourself to them and you just lose confidence.
- You get bored too fast. A lot of resolutions require some form of routine you need to do everyday to keep yourself on track, and unfortunately routine is boring.
- You don’t go the extra mile. Sure, you went to the gym, spent almost two hours doing Crossfit or other functional workouts, and you get everything done. Too bad when you get home, a whole box of hot and steamy pizza is waiting for you along with ice cream.
- You made it too hard on yourself. It’s either you try to do as many on your list at the same time, or you went from zero to sixty. The former will give you a mental burnout and the latter will stress you out. Either way, you’re setting yourself for failure.
Don’t Quit on Your Resolutions
Resolutions are the very things you want to do for yourself this year. You know you’ll be a happier and better person if you accomplish even just two or three of them. And you also know what it feels like to having accomplished next to nothing for yourself last year, so why give up now? Here are some tips to get you back on track.
Ways to Motivate Yourself To Start Again
- Rewrite your list. Go back to your list and try to see if you can narrow your resolutions to just five or even three. Keep the list as simple yet as impactful as possible. Focus on the promises that remain, and add some of the ones you crossed out once you’re done with all of them.
- Take your time. Don’t rush to finish everything in just a few months. You have a whole year to run through all of them. If you want, go with just one resolution at a time.
- Have a “rest” day. Giving yourself a break from being a better version of you will help prevent burnouts. The rest day will also act as a reward, but don’t abuse it. Once or twice a week is more than enough.
- Pair up with a friend. Plans work better if you commit to them with other people. You can even make it a competition between the two of you. Add more friends if you want, but the fewer you are the more accountable will you be of yourself and your friend.
- Be extra mindful. Keep your eye on the prize at all times. Don’t lose to a candy bar or a 5-minute smoke. Always tell yourself what you’re about to do so your brain will actively process the activity and enable you to come up with a smarter decision.
Eat More Vegetables This Year
If there’s at least one resolution you should try it’s to eat more vegetables. It may not sound as impressive or as astounding as popular resolutions like losing weight and quitting smoking, but it’s something you can do and easily sustain for the rest of the year. We’re not asking you to go 100% vegan, just try it out.
Below are some of the benefits of eating more plants:
- Eating more vegetables can lead to weight loss. Vegetables fill you up with fewer calories compared to sugary foods and snacks.
- You can improve blood sugar levels. Vegetables are the type of carbs your body wants and it doesn’t have the kind of carbs like sugar has.
- Vegetables can improve digestion. Vegetables naturally contain more fiber and fiber is always great to have when it comes to bowel movement.
- More vegetables mean more nutrients. It’s no secret vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals, but if you actually remove junk food and put vegetables in then you will suddenly have a healthier life.
- Longer-lasting energy. Vegetables aren’t like caffeine and sugar where they spike energy levels then drop you from the top. They offer the kind of energy that is sustainable and longer-lasting and won’t drop you.
- Forbes.com. (2018). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2013/01/01/just-8-of-people-achieve-their-new-years-resolutions-heres-how-they-did-it/#1b6cd6304c79 [Accessed 16 Feb. 2018].
- Luciani, (2018). [online] Available at: https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/2015-12-29/why-80-percent-of-new-years-resolutions-fail [Accessed 16 Feb. 2018].
- Tuso PJ, Ismail MH, Ha BP, Bartolotto C. Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets. The Permanente Journal. 2013;17(2):61-66. doi:10.7812/TPP/12-085.
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