Resolutions = Mindset Shift
Resolutions are all about mindset!
Its that time of year again, when people that have put off fitness and health for the last few months decide they are going to kick it into gear because a calendar they hardly use is about to turn from "Dec" to "Jan". They're gonna get into it and they're going to take back their health. Good job! There's just one problem:
Their mindset is still going to be the same on January 1st as it was the day before, hence the same it was the year before.
As someone who has programmed himself to focus on health, nutrition and fitness daily, it is sometimes difficult to put myself in other people's shoes. I spent years hammering this mindset until it simply became habit: I get up, go about my day, make as many healthy choices as possible, workout hard, drink lots of water and mess up all too often. Then I rinse and repeat the next day. It matters not if its summer or winter. Its an ingrained habit.
And this is where the real psychology of the new year's health resolution comes from: understanding that its going to be tough, everyday, and the habit is going to take constant work until it becomes conditioned. That is the key.
Understanding that its going to be a bitch, you're going to mess up over and over again, but you're going to get just a little better each time! This CANNOT happen overnight at the end of the year.
And this is why most fail: because they encounter resistance to their resolution, crumble and quit. Having delusions of grandeur that its all going to be so awesome blinds them from the facts of life.
So here's my opinion on how to make that fitness and health resolution stick:
Make the mindset shift the goal of the resolution and the habits will follow. In fact, it may trickle to other areas of life which is an added bonus! My mindset is pretty simple: I'm going to workout, everyday, and get better at it and work on different aspects, and there is nothing that anyone can say that will stop me. People can judge, they can say "you're obsessed" or that your priorities aren't straight, but if you let other people's opinions mold you then you've already lost the battle and the resolution will fail. Because there will be endless excuses, both internal and external that will arise. Knowing this is half the battle. Knowing these will come up means that you are now anticipating them, and can act accordingly.
Also know that no matter how good you are, screw ups will happen. You will be tempted and will cheat on your meal plan, you will miss a meal, skip a workout and become lazy. Life will happen. Kids will nag you, people in your personal life will become ill, possibly worse. The outside world does not stop because you made a resolution. In fact, I've noticed that it seems to close in even tighter when you decide to make a change. It can seem like you are being tested at every turn, tempted to fall off the wagon.
Make goals and make them specific. "Losing weight" is not a goal it is a vague assertion. Losing 15 pounds in six weeks is a goal with a timeline. Implant that goal in your mind's eye. Make it an intention, a mantra even. Think about it constantly until it is ingrained in your psyche. Make a plan, and don't try to make it perfect. Just make something and go. You can always improve on it later. For instance tell yourself you're going to workout three times a week at "x" time on "y" day of the week. Then just do it.
Make it a game. The point of the game is to achieve your goal. Every time you do something right, give yourself a tiny pat on the back. This works wonders for confidence and I still do it today. I drink a glass of water and tell myself "good job, you just increased your hydration, and now you're one step closer to the health you want". Do this constantly and also encourage other people to do the same.
The main point of this rant is that most people fail. Know this going forward and be determined to be the minority that does not fail! Know its going to be a challenge otherwise everyone would do it. And know that you have the ability, there is no excuse why you can't achieve your goal. Only your own excuses can stop you from achieving your goal!
So get after it in 2019, I know I will be.