What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Is it to lose weight or begin an exercise program? If you’re like most of us, a fit, healthy body is something you may want to work towards this year.
In fact, it’s probably something you wanted to work towards last year as well as the year before. So here’s a question. Why is it that we start the New Year with the best of intentions just to lose momentum within the first few weeks?
One reason is because almost ninety percent of what we do each day is the result of ritualistic habit.
From the way we brush our teeth to which shoe we put on first is something we barely need to think about. We’ve done it a certain way for so long, it’s deeply ingrained within us and minimal effort is required to get the job done. To test this, just start your day by putting on the other shoe first and you’ll see how different it feels!
Well, eating and exercise habits work the same way.
The way we eat, the reasons why we eat, the food choices we make are all habits, which have been formed over time. Some of those habits may have lead to an unhealthy relationship with food where we’re eating to combat boredom, fatigue, anger, sadness or loneliness. For some of us, the portion sizes we take, how full we feel when we leave the table are habits we’ve formed as well. For others, we may be in the habit of snacking while watching TV, eating off of our family’s plates or finishing everything on our plate-whether we’re hungry for it or not.
There’s an old saying that goes, “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.” That means that unless we shake thinks up and try another approach, we’re looking at another year of…more of the same.
To create lasting change, the first step is to take a look at your habits and behaviors.
Take a good look at what you’re doing, see if it’s working for you or not and based on what you find, determine what needs to change. The more you understand what and why you do what you do, the better position you’re in to change what doesn’t work.
Once you’ve identified where the problem is, the next step is to make one simple gradual change. Anything drastic is always temporary so it’s best to start small. One change headed in the right direction will make a much greater impact than a complete overhaul, which lasts only a short period of time.
This New Year, the only resolution you need to make is to stop making the same frustrating resolutions that you’ve made in the past. This year, commit to making new healthy habits slowly, steadily and…finally.