So you set your New Years Resolution Goal, you kept it up for about 2 weeks and now you are back to where you started!
Every year over 50% of the population sets a new years resolution goal, the first two weeks go great but by the time February rolls around they are already going back to their old ways!
But why does this keep happening?
When we set our resolutions we often set goals that are unrealistic, which ultimately set us up for failure. Psychology professor Peter Herman and his colleagues have identified what they call the "false hope syndrome," which means their resolution is significantly unrealistic and out of alignment with their internal view of themselves.
We all get a little overzealous to hit the new year right and change all the annoying and bad habits we have been doing for that last however many years! We tell ourselves this is the year I am going to lose weight, start saving money and start volunteering my time! Does this sound familiar? while our intentions are fantastic our approach is all wrong!
So how can we stop setting up these resolutions that just leave us feeling defeated?
Brain scientists such as Antonio Damasio, Joseph LeDoux, and psychotherapist Stephen Hayes have discovered, through the use of MRIs, that habitual behavior is created by thinking patterns that create neural pathways and memories, which become the default basis for your behavior when you're faced with a choice or decision. Trying to change that default thinking by "not trying to do it," in effect just strengthens it. Change requires creating new pathways from new thinking.
When you think about it really does make sense! When you change the way you think about something it changes your attitude about it!
Here are 3 Simple steps to avoid the New Years Resolution crash and burn!
1. Positive thinking!
Changing your mindset is the first step into creating a healthy lifestyle. When you set goals for yourself stop telling yourself what you "cannot do" and start focusing on what "you can do". This way you are taking away the negative thought and replacing it with a positive one. If your goal is to lose weight instead of telling yourself what you cannot eat start focusing on what you can eat which will change your outlook! Changing your thought process and focusing on the positive thoughts will create change and will help you achieve your goals.
2. Visualize your goals
Star by writing down some concrete goals, like losing 10 pounds in 90 days or cutting out sugar in my diet. Make those goals concrete! Once you know your goals picture them, this may sound juvenile but it's important to visualize your goals. Grab a magazine and start cutting a pasting! Put your image on the fridge, on your bathroom mirror or at your desk to help you see your goals each day! Seeing your goal in the form of a picture will help you to see your goal as more of a reality.
3. Start slowly making healthier choices
When trying to create an overall healthier lifestyle sometimes it best to start small. Start by slowly adding in better food choices to your diet and slowly start cutting out bad things like sugar and soda. For example, if you want to get off soda start by cutting down your soda intake by one soda a day for a week, then cut out two soda's a day and continue until you have gotten to a level that you feel is good! Same with cutting out sugar and fast food start limiting your intake slowly. If you find yourself eating out too often start by cooking a healthy lunch one day a week and build up from there. If you set realistic goals for yourself you will find it easier to stick to those goals and to start achieving them!
Creating a healthy lifestyle starts with small changes that help us to evolve into a healthy routine! We have to start somewhere and having the right foundation is the key to success!