There is a notion that because we have just begun a ‘New Year’ we once again have a reason to construct a better version of ourselves, hence the saying ‘New Year, New You.’ So we make the decision to somehow better ourselves. We hit reset and let the makeover process begin. For a lot of people this reset is a desire to change in order to live a more healthy lifestyle.
A more healthy lifestyle can have a number of meanings, but it’s most commonly associated with finally joining that gym that you’ve always said you’d try. Or it’s finally trying to eat better. All great and beneficial ideas. What’s not great about it is that most people fail to accomplish those goals. In fact, close to a quarter of Americans, self improvement, including healthy eating and weight loss, was at the top of the New Year’s resolution lists. So why do less than 10 percent of people accomplish these goals?
Most of the time, making a change in lifestyle can seem like a chore, and not something you actually enjoy doing. But this should be a positive change that can become something you look forward to doing every day. For example, not everyone enjoys going to the standard gym or even that kind of atmosphere. You need to find something that works for you, and that you enjoy. Were you a dancer? Have you met pilates or Pure Barre? Former collegiate athlete? Hello, have you met CrossFit? The point is, there are so many different options out there. What works for your best friend or your family members isn’t necessarily going to work for you. The ‘new you’ needs to find something that you actually enjoy doing that will add to your life instead of something that will end up becoming tedious.
Another problem is setting unattainable goals. If meat is part of your daily diet, then it’s probably not realistic to try to go vegetarian cold turkey (pun intended), but changing your diet isn’t going to happen overnight.
A better strategy would be to make gradual changes. For us coffee lovers, it’s better for us to drink it black. It can be quite a shock to your system if you like to load up on cream and sugar to just start drinking black coffee. So make a gradual shift. First eliminate the cream or the sugar. Then once you get used to that, take away the other.
With the way we are today, we expect instantaneous results. If you have a question, you can ask Google, and have the answer within seconds. But making serious changes in life takes longer over that. Results don’t happen overnight. Thus, changing your lifestyle is an investment of your time and energy. That’s why it needs to be something you enjoy doing. If not, the idea of doing it every day becomes laborious and the motivation will decrease as time goes on. If you want to make sure you’re part of that less than 10 percent of people who keep the commitment they made to better themselves at the beginning of the year, make it a positive change. Find something you ENJOY. Stick with it. Build on it. Acknowledge the little accomplishments along the way. And trust the journey.