Did you make a New Years Resolution? Maybe you made it on New Year’s Eve but the Veuve Clicquot erased it from your memory by the time you woke up?
Most of us do make resolutions; in fact around 45% of Americans make a promise to themselves that they’ll improve some area of their life in the new year.
We all want to be better people. That’s basics.
Making resolutions when the big hand strikes 12 o’clock on New Year’s Eve is nothing new. In ancient Babylon, they would make resolutions for the new year but it was usually more practical stuff like returning the farming equipment they pinched from their neighbour three months prior.
But we’ve stepped it up a gear now in this day and age, by making psychological pledges to ourselves, and unlike in ancient Babylon, we know the Gods won’t give us grief if we don’t return that shovel.
Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions For 2014
After some digging around myself, I have found the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions of 2014, courtesy of the University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology. Good work fellas…
1) Lose Weight
3) Spend Less, Save More
4) Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5) Staying Fit and Healthy
6) Learn Something Exciting
7) Quit Smoking
8) Help Others in Their Dreams
9) Fall in Love
10) Spend More Time with Family
Not bad hey? All sound pretty good.
The problem is, that on average only a measly 8% of us ever fulfill our New Year’s Resolutions, with only 64% making it to the end of January and 46% seeing it through past May.
It doesn’t make encouraging reading.
So what’s going on? Are we just rubbish at keeping promises to ourselves? Would we be better off with the imminent threat of the Gods bearing down on us?
6 Ways To Save Your New Year’s Resolution
There are quite a number of reasons why we can’t keep our resolutions and I have put them into my top 6 list. Everyone loves a list, so here we go…
1) Make Sure Your Dream Is Realistic.
Sounds quite straightforward doesn’t it? But many of us make ridiculously unrealistic goals. Like stating we’re going to run the London Marathon when we can’t manage a 5 km charity walk.
We’re setting ourselves up for failure and guess what? When you don’t achieve it you end up feeling like a loser. A 5 km run would be a realistic goal and save you from self persecution.
2) Make Sure Your Dream Is Aligned With Your Values.
What does this mean? You have to realise your value set in life. If you truly value your health and yet smoke like a chimney, then your values are clearly not aligned. It’s only once your values are aligned that everything else in life will fall into place.
Want to quit smoking? Start taking care of your body first and you will soon realise it’s an addiction you can overcome.
3) Sticking To Your Plan.
We’ve all heard the classic adage ‘fail to prepare and prepare to fail’ which is very true to some extent, but if want you’re preparing for is out of need and obligation, then you won’t prepare properly.
If you’re making a resolution because someone else has told you to do it, or it’s what you think is expected of you, then you’ll never stick to a plan.
I get a lot of clients who come to me and I give them the best movement and lifestyle plan I can, but if they don’t really want to follow it through, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.
We need to keep to a resolution out of inspiration and joyfulness in order for it to last the distance.
4) Don’t Put Pressure On Yourself.
We often just give up on something as a result of placing so much pressure on ourselves to succeed. We all thrive under a little pressure. It’s needed in order to grow but too much pressure adds stress to the body, this along with all the other daily stressors in life, ends up in failure.
5) Go To The Gym Because You Love You.
I’m not talking about taking selfies in the mirror and kissing your biceps after a set of curls, we should go to the gym out of self-improvement because we love the body we are in and want to make it better.
It’s like having a Ferrari. You’re going to take care of it and become familiarised with the local car wash. If you have an old banger, like my first car, the Ford Fiesta, you’re not going to give two hoots if it gets scratched up with bird poop all over the window.
Be that Ferrari. Go to the gym because you love the body you have. It’s the least you can do.
6) Working In Not Just Working Out.
This has to be one of the most misunderstood concepts out there. We don’t get stronger by working ‘out’. This means gym sessions, running, CrossFit and anything else you regard as working out. When we work ‘out’ we are getting weaker, which is why we always struggle with the last set of weights or that final mile.
We only get stronger by working ‘in’. This type of exercise includes Tai Chi, Yoga, meditation, Qi Gong and anything else that cultivates energy in the body.
Working ‘out’ is just the stressor that triggers the body to get stronger.
We only get stronger when we are resting and working ‘in’. It’s how we capitalise on our workouts. We should be resting for 24-72 hours between workouts.
If we don’t work ‘in’, we are just becoming sick fit people. The routine doesn’t last because we just break down and get injured, which puts an end to another resolution.
So, if you can implement at least one of these six factors, there’s a good chance you won’t become one of the 92% of resolution breakers this year.
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I hope you keep that promise to yourself, even if it’s just returning that shovel to your neighbour.
What was your New Year’s Resolution for a fit and fabulous You?
Let us know in the comments below…