Here we are on the last day of 2010. This year has flown by for many of us due to the numerous events that have taken place over the last year and yet most of us (myself included) will find ourselves making one common New Years Resolution which we have made year after year….To get more fit and/or lose weight. Ugh…..the guilt, shame and frustration that come along with listing this resolution…again! Why is it that each year this one resolution is stuck and (let’s face it) never leaves the top of the resolutions list?
There are many theories out there…a positive one might be that you are always working on bettering your health and fitness. If that’s the case, then good for you!
My theory is that the things we do most of the time are the hardest things to change. These are the things that you do nearly every single day such as brush your teeth, check your emails, commute to work or school, clean the dishes and get ready for bed at night. If you paid attention, you would probably notice that you have an unconscious method to each of these daily tasks (i.e., you might always brush your teeth starting on the left side of your mouth every morning and evening). These routine habits (i.e., what you eat for each meal) are hard to change because you do them without thinking about them, without being conscious of your actions…and creating a change requires conscious decision-making ALL THE TIME. Then, there are the things you only do occasionally, or perhaps frequently but not quite as often as daily habits. These tend to be driven by conscious decisions – meeting new friends, reading more books, cooking a new recipe, etc. These things that are driven by conscious decisions are easier to change because you are not on autopilot. Being aware and focused is the perfect environment to change. That’s right….just thinking and focusing on a goal makes change easy! The moment you get back on autopilot the same feelings of guilt or shame come creeping back in along with the cookies and chips.
If your 2011 resolutions list includes losing a few lbs or improving your fitness, try these tips to keep you conscious and present. You will succeed at making the changes you want in your health and fitness goals which will create feelings of accomplishment, better energy and the pure ecstasy of looser fitting jeans:
1. Sit down and set a goal- Seriously….sit down and think about it. Be specific about what you want
2. Write down your goal EVERYDAY for 45 days- “They” say this is how many days it takes to change or create a new habit. Do this first thing in the morning every morning. It should only take a minute or two. This will continuously keep the goal in the forefront of your mind creating the new ‘good’ habits needed to achieve your goal
3. Ask for help- Tell your friends and family members that you really want to make these changes and that you want and need their support. You know when and where you are weakest in keeping yourself accountable. Requesting loved ones to step in during these times can help you push through the tough times so your reach goal
4. “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” As Voltaire said (and G. Ruben likes to use in her book, The Happiness Project)- Just because you don’t have the body of Jessica Biel or Hilary Swank doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful, healthy and perfect in your own way. Keep plugging away at it one curtsy squat and steamed kale leaf at a time
Good luck breaking old and creating new habits in 2011. Happy New Year!