95% of New year’s resolutions fail - but be patient, persistent and realistic and you could be one of 2015’s success stories
Losing weight and getting fit are popular resolutions. So why do we start with the best of intentions and end in frustration? Nutritionist Nikki Edwards aims to help
Around one third of New Year’s resolutions are about losing weight. About 15% are about kick-starting a new exercise regime.
And around 95% fail.
Depressing, isn’t it? So why is it that willpower evades us when we need it most?
Well, for starters, January is a terrible time of the year to make promises. Especially promises about eating less and working out more.
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It’s cold, it’s dark and you feel demotivated after a December of excess.
But even though it’s tough, I want you to make this year the exception to the rule.
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You’ve made your pledge. You’ve set the bar. It’s time to make it count.
What is your goal?
You have probably already made your resolution for 2015.
If you haven’t, you should think very carefully about what it is you want to achieve.
If you have, maybe you should re-evaluate it so you have one clear aim in mind.
In my experience, many resolutions are based on unrealistic expectations for the next 12 months.
And really it would be better for your mindset – and chances of success – if you thought about your goal in a series of baby steps. This makes it far more achievable.
So instead of saying you want to lose three stone by next Christmas, try opting for 2lb a week. And instead of wishing for a six-pack by summer, plan to work out for an hour, twice a week, and build yourself up gradually.
Manage your expectations
The truth is that if we reach too high and try to grasp too much, it is likely we will fall down quickly.
Many resolutions are about changing habits that are completely ingrained in our behaviour patterns.
The key to success is to be realistic about our goals.
Change does not happen simply because we wish it would. It involves hard work.
This is why New Year’s resolutions should involve comprehensive planning.
Research tells us that the most successful changes occur, and are maintained, when they are approached in a gradual and committed manner.
After all, change takes time.
Don’t beat yourself up
Perfectionism is the plague of the New Year’s resolution.
You will stray from the programme. You will make mistakes.
Don’t beat yourself up about a slip-up. But conversely, do not use a slip as an excuse to abandon the plan altogether.
Stick with it
Good luck and Happy New Year!