Post on: December 30, 2019.
Posted in: Read.
Bring on a new year! It is going to be amazing because you’ll know how to succeed with your New Year’s resolution. It’s all here. This year, there will be no head-hanging, depressed feelings of failure. This time you’ve got science on your side, and the know how to succeed at reaching your resolution.
Why do so many of us fail at resolutions? Over 88% of us can fail at our New Year’s resolution, but not you! Not this year. This year is your year for success – and, here’s how:
How to Choose a Good New Year’s Resolution?
1. Resist the urge to make a list of resolutions – pick just one.
When you ask your brain to focus on too many things it loses willpower. Jonah Lehrer in How We Decide (Houghton Mifflin, 2009) describes an experiment with several dozen undergraduates psychology students in which one group was given a two-digit number to remember, and the second group a seven-digit number. Then they were presented with the choice of a bowl of fruit or a piece of chocolate cake. The students with seven digits to remember were almost twice as likely to choose the chocolate cake than those with only two digits to remember. When the prefrontal cortex in the brain is required to remember more numbers it has less energy to focus on willpower, making it harder to resist the decadent dessert. By focusing on just one resolution your brain can maximize its willpower and thus give you more likelihood of having resolution success.
2. Choose a small resolution
Setting a large, unattainable resolution is not only a recipe for failure, but can leave you feeling beaten and unconfident. By choosing a habit changing resolution, something you could do in less than 2 minutes a day, you’ll enjoy feelings of triumph and satisfaction. For example, instead of pledging to lose weight, resolve to replace your morning scone with an apple, or take the stairs at work instead of the elevator.
What are the Best New Year’s Resolutions?
Pick something that is a healthier lifestyle change, for you or your planet, that you are motivated by. Having an emotional desire attached to the change can help you stay motivated. And, instead of setting a fixed goal (such as a weight loss number), focus on the small actions you can do each day that get you closer to your ultimate goal, a healthier you! For example, if last year you planned losing 5 lbs by Valentine’s Day and were frustrated when 1lb hadn’t disappeared within the first week, this year do something more helpful. Make a resolution to be more consistent with your physical activity – perhaps aim for a minimum of 10 minutes each day, and 3 times a week getting a good sweat going. That’s something you can do! That’s attainable! That is a resolution with small, sustainable steps that is more likely to leave you feeling positive, successful and motivated to keep with it.
Top New Year Resolutions (You Can Succeed at):
- Add fruit to breakfast (healthy way to fill up – good for weight loss)
- Be active every day (even if just 10 minute walk)
- Eat two more vegetables each day (add veggies to your omelette, lettuce to your sandwich, choose veggie for a snack)
- Pack my own lunch 3-4 days a week (great way to reduce salt, sugar and fat intake; better for the environment)
- Drink one more glass of water a day (easiest way is to start each day with a glass of lemon water; good for skin health and weight loss)
- Avoid palm oil foods whenever possible (found in many unhealthy processed foods and linked with deforestation).
- Choose fair trade foods, such as chocolate and coffee, whenever possible (great way to make a sustainable change for the planet)
How to start your New Year’s Resolution:
Write down your New Year’s Resolution. Tape it on the fridge. Tell a friend. Being accountable to your resolution helps you feel motivated to succeed.
You can do it!
Would a little external motivation help? Try setting weekly goals to allow for frequent chances to give yourself a pat-on-the-back. Or, try rewards. For example, motivate yourself with the reward of a piece of decadent chocolate cake if you complete a week of healthy eating. Or, maybe you’ll find motivation in a new pair of yoga pants once you complete your resolution to be more active and have more energy. Whatever it is, find something that’ll keep you motivated. This year, you’re going to have resolution success!
By setting just one small, realistic resolution to live healthier and happier, you can roll into next month holding your head high and enjoy feeling self-confidence and accomplishment.
Need more help?
Contact me! One-on-one personal nutritional consultations are available.
Similar to how a personal trainer helps you achieve results using weights, nutritional coaching helps you achieve your health goals using your fork. Chat with me over the phone or on the computer.
Reaching your health goals starts with knowing where to start – then, when things get hard it’s helpful to have someone who is motivational, understanding and knowledgable to help you keep going. You can do this! I am here to help.