It’s January 1, and you’re ready. Your sneakers are laced up; you’re sporting your new workout gear, and you hit the gym. You want to lose weight this year because you're dying to fit into your skinny jeans. You plan on eating healthy, cutting calories and working out seven days a week.
I think we all know what realistically happens next...
You get all excited and motivated to go to the gym and eat healthy. You’re doing well for a week or two, then slowly, that little thing called LIFE comes around and you start to get busy.
It’s hard to incorporate your healthy habits into your already hectic lifestyle, and you start making excuses. The next year rolls around, and you have the same resolution, yet again.
Here are some reasons "lose weight" is one of the worst New Year's resolutions and how you can change things up to make a long-lasting goal that will help you get fit:
1. It Brings The Bad Into The New
I’m not the biggest fan of the term “resolution” because it implies you are correcting bad behavior. Why should you be bringing the baggage and disappointments of the past into this brand new beginning?
Avoid focusing a health-related resolution (or any resolution, for that matter) on correcting a bad habit. Shift your mindset to think about what you should strive to be and how you can go about it.
Want to eat healthier? How about making a goal to pre-cook healthy meals on Sunday so you are setting yourself up for a healthy week? Attainable goals are more like lifelong resolutions, and things with which you can keep up and incorporate in your healthy lifestyle journey.
2. It’s Just Too Vague
You want to lose weight? That’s great, but how much? How fast do you want to lose this weight? What does eating healthy mean to you? Oftentimes, resolutions are just too vague. Make sure your resolution is both specific AND realistic.
If you are already healthy, 20 pounds is probably an unnecessary stretch, and it's setting you up for failure. Revise this resolution to one pound per week.
Outline your current work or class schedule and identify how much time you could realistically dedicate to working out. Make a realistic goal, like working out for 30 minutes during your lunch break three times a week.
Try making the goal to go to cycling class two times a week with a friend. Avoid fad diets and trends; stick with something you can incorporate into your life, and be specific.
3. Its Reason Is Likely Superficial
Skinny this, skinny that. The media, society and cultural norms tend to suggest that “skinny” will make you happy. Trust me, if you don’t learn to love yourself now, no amount of weight loss will change it.
Think about connecting your New Year’s resolution with a feeling, rather than a superficial feature. Instead of wanting to lose enough weight to feel comfortable wearing a crop top, think about what losing weight will do for you, as a person.
Will losing weight help you feel more confident? Will working out give you the strength to feel proud? Focusing on a feeling will keep that goal relevant to you and ensure the goal to be long-lasting.
Resolutions are great, but think practically before you make them this year. Let 2015 be the year you follow through with your goals. Focus on a few specific and realistic resolutions, and make them goal-orientated.
Above all, always focus on how amazing you will feel when you finally accomplish that resolution in the upcoming year. Go for that feeling, set realistic goals and focus on the brand new, clean slate waiting for you.