Dr. Steven Scappaticci, B.Sc. (Hons.), CSCS, DC, FRCms
I’m the last person who truly makes New Years resolutions. But I am one of the ones who no matter the time of year, will try and implement things into my life or change things for the better. Same, same but different.
Taking a look back to New Years resolutions, why do they always seem to fall to the wayside? People are usually enthusiastic about them at the end of December but often let them go in late January. So hopefully as you’re reading this, you’ll either be encouraged to continue with the work you’ve put in so far, or perhaps make a small but significant change for the better!
But why do resolutions fail? Much like a number of other questions in life, it depends on so many factors. Some we can control and some we cannot. I’ll highlight a few reasons as to why these attempted changes may not make it to spring!
To start, we can get so excited about our new goals that we make them UNREALISTIC. It’s one thing to say you want to get in better shape (a common but vague goal) but it’s another thing to say you want a six-pack by Valentines Day. I applaud the enthusiasm but we need to recognize that there’s “ideal” expectations and then there are “real” expectations. Often times we shoot for “ideal” and decide to call it quits before getting to the “real” expectations.
Next is TIME. Simply put, we either do not give ourselves enough time or just don’t want to put the time in to do the necessary work. In today’s society we want things and we want them fast! Three hours each week on meal prepping? No thanks; I’ve got things to do. A month until I start to notice a real change in my waistline? Thanks but I’ll take the cake instead.
The last reason I’ll mention is we OVERLOAD ourselves with these resolutions. It often starts with one change we want to make but then snowballs into adding a few others. This may work if we are dealing with resolutions that are related, for example “go to the gym 3x/week and pack healthy snacks with lunch”. Complementary goals, great! But what happens when we overload things? How about creating diet/exercise goals and wanting to read more each night, make more money, and travel more? Can we see how this second example may be a bit much?
If you’re going to make a change at all, I applaud that. I hope you’ll walk away from this article knowing to make realistic changes, give yourself time, and start small and go from there!
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