Having New Year’s resolutions seem to be an end of the year tradition. Popular ones being: Losing weight, getting healthy and fit. Chances that these resolutions were not accomplished in the past are high. But at the end of the year, good intentions are renewed! We have a sense of fresh start! After the remorse of overeating during the holiday season sets in, our intentions get stronger and more powerful!
Come the first of January resolution-ers are enthusiastic to change. They join the gym, yoga, Crossfit and try to figure out the best diet or detox out there. By the second week of February, 80 percent of those resolution-ers develop another kind of remorse: Disappointment of not sustaining their resolution. Why is that with such good intentions it all seems so elusive?
In order to achieve New Year’s resolutions of losing weight, getting healthy and fit, it takes changing behavior. We set all these resolutions but we fail to address our ability to sustain motivation and handle stress and discomfort involved in changing.
Changing behavior does not happen overnight. From December 31st to January 1st, behavior will not change as the clock hits midnight. It takes time to set in new behavior and sustain it. It takes practice, so before hitting the gym daily until second week of February, to never set foot on it again, exercise your brain to break bad habits and overcome unhealthy behavior!
How? Here are some useful tips:
- Set realistic goals. In my practice I saw clients setting as their new year’s resolution to stop eating sugar, gluten, dairy and alcohol all together, but they have no idea what to eat instead and they tend to set themselves for failure. Saying you choose to only have one piece of cake on your kids’ birthday or yours is more realistic than saying you will never eat cake again!
- Develop partnerships. Be accountable to someone, to your kids, partner, a gym buddy or a health practitioner such as nutritionist. Having someone to report to, can build up your motivation to keep going. Set a game if necessary: Have a gym buddy and whoever skips training has to pay the other a movie ticket, for example. A nutritionist can coach you on how to develop and sustain healthy behavior.
- Replace your unhealthy behavior with a healthier one. If you are trying to cut on the 6 cups of coffee per day, for example, replace few with a cup of green tea. You are still having a break but choosing something healthier! Choosing molasses instead of refined sugar, brown rice instead of white rice or walking around your block instead of smoking a cigarette are other examples.
- Create challenges: Don’t allow yourself to procrastinate! Create opportunities to challenge yourself, such as: I challenge myself to write my report before watching TV. I challenge myself to go to the gym in order to enjoy my glass of wine. I challenge myself to eat more vegetables this week so I can buy myself a new piece of clothing. By creating daily challenges, you are exercising your brain to change behavior and keep yourself motivated to sustain your new year’s resolution!
Anamaria Pontes is a Registered Nutritionist. Her coaching will make sure that your resolutions do not fail by the second week of February. Anamaria will empower and guide you to develop a sound and nurturing relationship with food and physical activity! For further information or to schedule your session contact Anamaria at: firstname.lastname@example.org