Friend of E2W, Grace Edy - Why you shouldn’t jump at joining the gym, dry January or Vegan-uary.
Katie.Dix / 05 Jan 2022
As the New Year rolls in so too does the list of New Years Resolutions. People love to share their resolutions at this stage as they buzz full of enthusiasm imagining having lost those few extra pounds or having read a book a week for the whole of 2022…Or maybe they have already slipped up on their resolution (it happens to the best of us) but not to worry they have a grand plan to get back on track!
By February (or the second week of January) the chatter around New Year’s Resolutions has usually fizzled out as people start to lose their excitement and fall back into their old habits. Thoughts pop into our minds like: “I know I'm lazy and this just confirms it. I don’t deserve to be my ideal weight.” or “I never stick to personal commitments anyways, so giving up is so typical. I always fail at these things.” or “who was I kidding? I will never be good enough to lose those extra pounds.” or “I always give up in the end”. Thoughts that eat into our confidence and reaffirm negative patterns of thought that we have most likely been playing on repeat for most of our lives.
So what could you be doing instead? Well, here are 3 things to think about if you want to set a New Years Resolutions (and yes, it is not too late to set New Year Resolution – it is never too late to start where you are with what you have).
So where do we fall short with our New Year’s Resolutions? There are a couple of things to think about:
Often people feel that they ‘should’ have a resolution and so they default to common resolutions (such as going to the gym). The issue with this is that we haven’t taken the time to truly understand WHY this resolution is important to us (if it is important to us at all). If we don’t understand why something is important then when we start to lose motivation it's easy for us to come up with excuses and not follow through. Why would you do something that you had little to no motivation to do it especially if you aren't clear on why you were doing it in the first place? It makes total sense that your brain would default to saving your energy and giving it a skip.
Have the confidence to set a personal resolution (forgetting about what other people are up to) and know exactly why you want to achieve it. Write your resolution and you're why down and put it up somewhere you see it every day so you are continuously reminding yourself of what you have committed to and why it is important to you.
Guilt and Punishment
I’ve heard it a million times before: “My Resolution is to go to the gym 7 days a week for at least an hour because I overindulged over the festive season and now have some extra pounds to shift.”
Often resolutions are grown from guilt – the guilt of overindulgence - eating too much, drinking too much, having too much fun. Resolutions can often be a form of punishment and focus on cutting out something we love or enjoy about life (reducing our weight, reducing alcohol intake, reducing how much TV we watch). It sounds like a pretty bleak way to start the year - by taking away something we enjoy especially during the depths of winter!
When setting a resolution focus on what is being gained and make the resolution fun or exciting to achieve. Rather than losing weight maybe focus on gaining confidence in your body. Rather than doing dry January maybe challenge yourself to Mocktail Saturdays where you need to come up with a new mocktail to try.
I know this one is counterintuitive as people have the most energy at the start of a new habit and so want to use that energy to propel themselves forward but the flip side to this is that we set ourselves up for failure and so end up feeling worthless and giving up sooner rather than later.
Make sure your resolution is reasonable – do you have the time, money, energy, resources to make it happen?
Then start with a small step that you are almost guaranteed to be successful with, build your confidence, CELEBRATE your success and go from there. When I say small, I mean small - you have the whole year ahead of you to create long term results. You don't need to rush.
Have fun. Build your confidence. You can do this.
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