8% of New Year’s resolutions are kept according to the University of Scranton.
Statistically, New Year’s resolutions don’t really work. Read on to figure out how to keep your resolution this year.
For some reason we decide that the new year is the right time to make a monumental change to our lives, often at great sacrifice. But we care not. Our resolutions are iron clad. At the stroke of midnight, we say to ourselves, “I will make this change, no matter what.” It is of no concern that at the time of making said resolution you’ve probably had many, many glasses of champagne. If you are sober enough to stand by your resolution, achieving it will likely come at the cost of murdering something you love (i.e., chocolate, wine, shoes, jewelry, pizza, ice cream, cupcakes, spa treatments, men, women, vodka…you get the point). Achieving big goals require big changes. And what better time to make a promise for change than New Year’s Eve? The occasion is so powerful, that we feel a simple resolution is the gateway to becoming superwoman without considering the existence of kryptonite and the fact that your life is now completely consumed with fighting aliens. But hey, you’ll be able to fly, so who cares, right?
Unfortunately, this approach puts pressure on us to make extreme changes to things we really enjoy in order to become something else. And we often fail. Do you remember last year’s resolution? Did you stick to it or give up because it required too much sacrifice?
Are you seriously going to entirely give up chocolate (for example) because your new year’s resolution is to lose 5kgs? Guess what, the chocolate is not the problem, it’s how you’ve structured your resolution. What happens after you lose that 5kgs? Do you start eating chocolate again? Will you start to put on weight again? Yup. Instant gratification schemes don’t work. Sure, they let you leap 2 steps forward, but what they don’t tell you is that you are going to crash 3 steps back. That’s why you hear of people who have tried 10 different diets and none of them work. They are set up to make us fail, and yet we keep buying in.
A declaration for change is inherently a good thing, but something about New Year’s resolutions just doesn’t work. There’s too much build up. And I can promise you, certain people who realize this are making money off your good intentions. The New Year’s discount at the gym, the latest juice cleanse and 30 day detox system all promise you the magic formula for success. You’ve just been had, my friend.
So how do you create a path to success? Well there’s nothing wrong with thinking big, and that’s where New Year’s resolutions should live. Resolutions are the big goals that we want for ourselves…over time. Instead of trying to go from crawling to flying, let’s see how you do when you take baby steps. Modify your big resolution into an achievable step towards change for all of January. Then, for the whole month, stick to it and see how you feel. If you feel better and are seeing results, take another baby step for all of February. The beauty of this approach is that your life slowly evolves around a manageable change. This is what sets you up for success.
Here’s a simple example: If you love chocolate, but want to lose 5kgs, instead of eliminating chocolate entirely and making life truly horrible, just limit yourself to having 2 chocolate bars/desserts a week (or simply cut your intake down by 50% per week). Look forward to that delicious chocolate and earn it by abstaining 5 days out of 7 and you’ll probably be even more satisfied. If you make it through without become a total bi-atch, add another good habit to the mix to get closer to your resolution. For February, add 1 extra day of exercise while keeping up with your 2 bars of chocolate a week plan. You get the idea. The point is to take a baby step toward the end goal so your body and LIFE can adjust to the changes over time. This is the balance formula behind PartyGirlFit’s philosophy. To us, balance is about instilling good, easy to achieve habits over time that will compensate for the naughty indulgences that make life worth living. By transforming a large goal into bite-sized accomplishments, you will succeed and keep your success for the long-term. You may never end up achieving the absolute change you dreamed of, but that’s ok, because the absolute change may require you to give up too much and isn’t worth the sacrifice or effort. You’ll likely end up somewhere in the middle, and that’s certainly better than nothing. For my personal story on this subject, check out this post on trying to look like Kate Hudson.
So for 2015, give yourself a big goal, but break down your resolution into small, bite-sized changes that you will achieve over time. That way, you’ll be sure to stay on track.
To celebrating the baby steps,
Party Smart. Sweat Smarter.