You swear every year this IS the year you WILL stick to your resolution. In the gym by 6am, sugary foods are a thing of the past and you are going to improve your hydration by trading your favorite vintage for an electrolyte replacement drink. You have taken the oath in front of golden retriever so you have witnesses. You mean business! So why with all this great intended effort do 92 percent of all new year’s resolutions fail? Unless you have a personalized licensed plate that reads “8prcntr,” it’s likely your favorite furry friend will be reminding you just eight weeks into 2018 you aren’t living up to your end of the deal!
So what is behind this astonishing attrition rate? After all, your mother always told you to keep your word. You are on time to work everyday, you never miss your friends’ birthdays, and there isn’t a dinner reservation that has ever slipped your mind. You are the Brett Favre of reliability to show on game day. Well we have a few theories on why the luster of these whole-hearted intentions loses its shine.
The Focus On Negativity
If you think about it, many of the resolutions we make are formed in a negative connotation.
- “I have to lose weight”
- “I don’t want to be stressed”
- “I have to stop spending so much money”
The negativity in turn becomes stressful in and of itself because you are focusing on things you “can’t” or “don’t want” to do. Remember when your parents told you “you can’t be out past 10pm.” Didn’t it make you a little upset and tempted you to force the envelope a little? So instead rephrase your goals to sound something like this:
- “I would like to get in better shape”
- “Being stress-free is what I’m shooting for”
- “It’s easy to save money”
Resolutions Are Too Strict
Making resolutions that are too strict is a sure way to set oneself up for failure. Being in the gym at 6am may not be realistic every day. Instead set yourself up for success by taking your situation into consideration. If you aim to get into better shape, give yourself the freedom to get your exercise in when its reasonable. Also, don’t force yourself onto a fitness timeline. Studies show that people who lose weight over time as compared to those who crash diet and crash exercise, keep the weight off longer. There’s something to be said about slow and steady winning the race.
The “Why” Behind The Commitment
If you can find the reason why you are making a resolution, chances are you will devote yourself to the goal longer. Having some “skin in the game” or a sense of true personal commitment definitely motivates one to stick to something longer. For instance if your goal is to get into better shape find out your reasoning why you want to become more fit. Is it to look better, do you want to feel better, or do you want to live a healthier lifestyle? If you can be honest with yourself regarding your motivating factors, chances are you can make a deeper commitment. After spending some time talking it over with yourself you might realize your desire to “look better” is fine, but your desire to be good to yourself and live a healthier lifestyle is even stronger. That commitment to oneself is what will motivate you to the finish line!
We hope 2018 is a great year for you whether your resolutions are carried through to December 31st or not. If you’re an “8prcntr” congratulations! And if not, remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and the Italians sure know how to live the good life: A little wine, great food, good friends and plenty of R & R!