As the year (and decade) come to an end, you probably find yourself taking a look back on your year and you’re thinking about what you want to improve for next year. The most common New Year resolution revolves around improving your body and health. Fitness studios are flooded with people trying to make up for their holiday eating habits; but studies show that around 80% of people who make resolutions fail to keep them as early as the second week of February. As well-intentioned as your resolutions may be, they are doomed to never come to fruition if you haven’t taken the integral steps to maintain motivation or combat the discomfort that comes with an intense change in routine. There is a multitude of reasons why people may fail early and often at their New Year resolution fitness/health goals.
1. Lack of commitment.
It sure is easy to state your goals, but much more difficult to follow through, especially if those goals are not specific. Many people overcommit with nonspecific or unrealistic goals (“I will work out every day,” “I will stop eating all carbs.” It is important to avoid making a pledge that you aren’t confident that you can handle. People ride the excitement of the new year and try to kick a habit cold turkey, or they have an all-or-nothing attitude. They dive into a new regiment that is intense and far too jarring for their minds or bodies to sustain the change. People often forget to ease into a new routine, and then they quit at the first few signs of falling off of the work-out wagon. If you wan to set a goal that you can truly commit to and follow through with, set a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
2. Lack of accountability.
When starting any new habit, it’s important to have some form of accountability. This is another reason people fail: they assume they can handle the change all on their own. They don’t hire a trainer, they don’t have a work out buddy, or they hit the snooze button with no consequences. Every small choice against your resolution builds up. Soon, you may find you don’t even set your alarm anymore to try. Without being held accountable by either another person, an app on your phone, or some other form of external pressure, it is difficult to hold yourself to a higher standard when your pillow or food cravings are calling your name. Change is hard!
3. Lack of external pressure.
Similar to a lack of accountability, a lack of external pressure can also lead to a failure of reaching fitness resolution goals. Many people assume they can achieve extreme fitness goals on their own without much help or research. Paying for a gym membership does not always guarantee that you will go regularly, especially if the investment is relatively low. For example, a gym with as little as $10 per month commitment. Some people need a coach or trainer to motivate them in ways that they cannot motivate themselves. There is no shame in that; but not everyone can pay for a trainer, and not everyone is honest with themselves that they need the external motivation.
4. Lack of solid foundation.
It is quite difficult to achieve any fitness resolution, but it is even more challenging when you try to achieve these goals without the right information, tools, discipline, or attitude. Fad diet books and whimsical articles with dodgy information can fuel these attitudes that changing yourself physically is purely physical. Attaining fitness resolutions is much more mind-over-matter than some people choose to believe. You must prepare yourself mentally before you set out to improve yourself physically. Without a positive attitude or a healthy mindset, you cannot safely or successfully change your body, or reach any goal for that matter. You build discipline by practicing, little by little, and working out your mind and will-power muscles. Discipline cannot be attained with the snap of a finger or a simple, general statement of change — you have to practice the change first. Without the proper tools or discipline, many people quit at the first signs of friction on their fitness journeys. It takes time and repetition to form a habit.
With this in mind, how are your resolutions stacking up? At Strength.com, we believe that one day on the calendar should not dictate when you start your fitness journey; an intention within yourself to change and a strong support system is all you need. We believe that with the right tools, and a supportive network you can improve your fitness habits so you won’t have to keep making resolutions.
For these reason, we’re launching the Anti-Resolution Challenge with BuiltByStrength to help you turn your fitness goals into long term habits. This is a 6-month commitment and research-backed program to push you past the New Year drop-off point and into a long term happiness. Stay tuned for our launch. Space is limited. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your fitness goal to reserve a spot.
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