Why Fitness Resolutions Fail and How to Make Them Stick – Part 2
Welcome to Part 2 of how to keep your fitness New Years Resolutions
In part 1 we looked at how to use effective goal setting techniques to prepare and outline your New Year’s resolutions.
Preparation is key! To really increase the chances of success; you can prepare by anticipating and writing down anything that you think may sabotage your chances of succeeding and maintaining your resolutions into 2017. Grab and pen and paper, and jot down the following –
1. List What You Need
Make a list of things that you will need to put in place to ensure that you can achieve your goals and maintain your resolutions. Split these things into “essential”, and “desirable”. Essential things, as you might expect, are definitely required in order to achieve and/or maintain your goals & resolutions, whilst desirable things are those which would help, but aren’t required. For example:
- A place to exercise
- Access to healthy food in the house
- A healthy shopping list
- A Diet / Nutritional Guidelines
- An exercise programme
- A training partner
- An exercise diary
- Friends to discuss fitness & nutrition with
- An online coach or support group
Endeavour to put everything essential in place before you start. When this is done, look to see which desirable influences can be put it place too.
2. Anticipate the Difficulties You Will Encounter
Spend 10 minutes thinking about (and researching) all the possible difficulties that you may encounter on the path towards achieving your goals. Separate these difficulties into “hurdles”, “barriers” and “pitfalls”. Finally, write down the solutions to these difficulties:
Hurdles – things that you can’t avoid but can easily overcome
A possible hurdle could be people offering you unhealthy food. If so, there are three possible solutions to this:
- Solution 1 – Confidently say “No thanks, I’m trying to lose weight and get fit”
- Solution 2 – Stall them – say “I will later on thanks, not now”
- Solution 3 – Tell all your friends about your goals, and specifically ask them not to offer you unhealthy food and that you would appreciate their help and support. Announce it on social media and via a text.
- Solution 1 – Try and remain logical & mindful about eating;
- Solution 2 – Don’t keep unhealthy food in the house;
- Solution 3 – Make a hot drink then go for a walk when bored or upset;
- Solution 4 – Remember it will take around 2 months to establish healthy habits and to get your gut bacteria to generate a desire for more healthy foods. Hang in there!
Barriers – obstacles that you can get around or prevent
A possible barrier could be shopping while hungry and therefore being more likely to buy unhealthy food in the supermarket. The best solution to this would be to make a shopping list and stick to it. Don’t shop when you’re hungry.
Pitfalls – behaviours & influences that can potentially derail your entire plan
A possible pitfall which many of us succumb to is keeping high sugar or processed food in the house. This is a particular problem during the festive period. A good solution to this would be to give away the unhealthy food to a food bank or charity.
Another potential pitfall commonly reported is eating when either bored or upset. If you fall victim to this, then you have four possible options to consider:
3. Commit to Your Resolutions & Make a Positive Change
This section is all about empowering yourself and acknowledging that you do have the ability to make a positive change.
Grab that pen and paper again and write down an answer to these three questions:
- Do you think that you will succeed? – What are you concerned about & how can you improve the chances of success?
- Are you convinced that this programme is worth the effort? – i.e. are you convinced that you want to sacrifice & exclude certain foods and to undertake exercise in order to achieve your goals? If the answer is “yes”, then remind yourself of this in the future, if you are tempted to give up.
- Are you happy and willing to take complete ownership of this programme? – The answer should be “yes”! Writing this down helps you to stay on track and attribute success to controllable factors.
Once you have completed the questions and tasks above and our previous blog post on how to stick to resolutions, you should be fully prepared from a psychological point of view.
Always remember that eating and exercise habits take around 8 weeks to become fully ‘automated’ and ingrained in your behaviour. And remember that mental health is just as important as your physical health, they often work hand in hand, these tools are to help you along your fitness journey, and we would love to hear about them!
Keep an eye out for more health, beauty and fitness posts on our blog section by searching through the ‘Health & Beauty’ category