My 2016 New Years’ Resolution is to stick to my Resolution.

New Years’ Resolutions tend to be very similar each year:

“I’m going to exercise every day in 2016”
“More quality time spent with loved ones”
“I need to stress less”
“I want to beat the bulge, I gained so much over Christmas”
“I want to quit smoking”

The list goes on…

One of two things happen:
A) New Years’ Day fell on a Friday – therefore the resolution won’t start till “Monday”
OR
B) We suddenly become forgetful about our resolution way before Australia Day!

Why do our resolutions fail? Are we unwilling to participate? Forgetful? Lazy?
I believe we lack planning and we set either unrealistic expectations, non-specific goals or both.

Let’s take a few of the resolutions mentioned above and unmask them.

“I want to beat the bulge, I gained so much over Christmas”
Reality check: You have been eating poorly all year, you have had a stressful year with work and family life, you have not exercised nearly enough, your health has suffered…this could go on.
1. Let’s not blame Christmas for your weight gain. 2. Cut yourself some slack – you’ve had a tough year. 3. The goal was NOT specific.

“I want to quit smoking”
Chances are, you still are smoking. However well done for wanting to quit! If you are a ‘pack a day’ smoker – cold turkey may be a little daunting, hence why you tried and failed a number of times!
The goal was not realistic. Why not reduce your habit to half a packet a day for the first few weeks? Gradually lower it each fortnight? Set a reminder on your phone or calendar, keep a diary.

“I’m going to exercise every day in 2016”
Would you like another reality check? You barely managed one day per week and you are going to exercise 7 days?!
This is not specific. It is definitely unrealistic. Plus, you have no plan! Instead, why not start with some incidental exercise daily – parking the car further and walking to work, walk on your lunch break, taking the stairs or even schedule an exercise routine into your day!

Here are some basic tips to assist you in setting and upholding your 2016 New Years’ Resolutions!

  1. WHY WAIT? New Years has come and gone, Mondays ALWAYS roll around. Start NOW!
  2. Be specific about your goals. “I want to lose weight this year” is not specific. “I want to lose 5kg by 30th March 2016” is.
  3. Focus on one goal at a time. Don’t change everything at once!
  4. Celebrate success regularly. If it is a step towards the right behaviour and thought pattern, then give yourself a pat on the back!
  5. Make sure you’re held accountable. Tell one person (someone close to you) so that they will keep you on track.
  6. Remember, every day is a new day, so make the most of it! Have fun, don’t be so hard on yourself. Small and steady steps are the key to success!

 

This blog post was written by Angelique Houridis (AEP) who is an Exercise Right blog contributor.

Angelique runs her own mobile private practice in Sydney, NSW and is very passionate about promoting a balanced and enjoyable lifestyle for her patients. On her days off, she enjoys good food, good wine and great company.

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