The latest word on the street is that now a whopping 92% of people do NOT accomplish the goals (read: resolutions) that they set in Jan. I've been quoting 85% (the last touted statistic) for years, but now it's really time to stand up and take notice. Let me restate that in case there's any misunderstanding: New Year's resolutions (and almost any goal set nowadays) are nearly guaranteed to fail! What the?!?
I pray that this upsets you as much as it does me. Especially if you're one of many that finds yourself setting the same goals – over. and. over.
It's time to stop believing the myth of just setting intentions out into the atmosphere, and wishing on a star that they'll come true. We are missing the mark in goal setting. If we ever hope to change that path, we must first shut the door on the lies we tell ourselves about the process of success and achieving. Beware of jumping into goals -especially weight loss – without being mentally prepared.
Taking a moment to mentally make sure that you have what it takes before you start, is critical to when and where you end.
Ready for a reality check?
The lie: Things are going to be different this time.
Reality check: How? Are you putting steps into place to make sure of this?
It's very easy for us to spout off, in a moment of determination, “This time…is going to be different!” – yet approach it in the exact same way as before. #fail
While the origin of this thought is dead on (we MUST do things differently, in order to achieve a different result), the action required is left hanging in the balance. In order for this time to be different than last, you need an action plan – not just a random diet plan. Brainstorm in advance ideas for how to make this time different (ditching fads, working out consistently, lifting weights, hitting macros, etc). Then break those ideas into baby steps that you can actually do one.at.a.time until they are second nature (daily walk, more protein at breakfast, higher fiber at lunch, etc). This is especially important to understand if you typically dive in headfirst to new changes, but fizzle out quickly.
Have a plan of attack to make this your best year yet, and rock out the results of this change permanently.
The lie: I got this… just gotta stick it out this time.
Reality check: If it requires too much willpower, it won't work long term.
Thinking that you can just white knuckle your way into change is a recipe for disaster. Willpower is not an unlimited resource that you just have to “try harder” with. You only have ONE willpower reserve, so use it wisely, and have a plan for when it runs out. This means that if you have a fairly stressful life, you should NOT attempt to change your entire diet, quit smoking, start exercising, and organize your life — all at the same time. Something's gotta give, and trust that it will.
So you may find yourself eating “perfectly” all day/week, then binging on nights/weekends. Willpower will eventually run out, so a diet setup with willpower as the primary success component will fail. Period. Adherence is the number one predictor of success. So an imperfect diet that you can consistently stick to, will always trump the perfect diet that you don't.
Make sure that your change is slow and gradual – and has YOU written all over it.
The lie: I'll just try it for a while.
Reality check: Think long term. Don't change things that you can't/don't plan on sticking to for the long haul.
Allow me to state the obvious: If you only plan on applying something short term, then short term results are inevitable. If you're going into a style of eating, imagining the day that you'll go back to your old way of eating once it's “over”…then you're not making a lifestyle change. If you are dreaming of the day that you can eat donuts/chocolate/chips, etc. again, you're doing it wrong. Find ways to incorporate those dreams items along the way. (Trust me, it's possible!). Your way of eating should be set up so that you don't have brief streaks of perfection, followed by the all-too-predictable nosedive.
If you don't have enough room in your diet for a planned daily indulgence (or two), then it's extremely likely that you're being too strict, or are not eating enough for sustainable fat loss.
In order to finish strong, we must start with the right mindset. In part two of this series, we'll address the lies that we tell ourselves along the way, and how approach (and survive!) the speed bumps, potholes, and detours of this journey.
No more lies, fam – lets do this!
Thank you for this post! I made mistakes in how I (didn’t) prepared for. health challenge I participated in last fall. I figured out a plan and am beginning this week to lose 35 pounds I’ve gained back from a large loss.
I’ve followed your site for about two years and have learned a lot.
Having that plan, and being prepared is EVERYTHING. So many of us make the mistakes, never learn from them, and keep making them. Sounds like you are on the right path now ;)
Keep us posted!