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Why most people's New Year Resolutions don't seem to "stick".

Happy New Habits

By Jennifer Thompson, Program Director at Granite Health & Fitness, NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Happy New Year!

If you are like most people, something about the New Year brings on a renewed sense of hope and excitement. We start to look at the goals we want to achieve and on January 1st, we proudly announce those to the world.

Unfortunately, if you are like most, those resolutions don’t seem to “stick”. They can be dropped almost as easy as they are stated. Why is this?

As you set a New Year's Resolution, you typically set something that you expect to achieve… let’s use the example of losing 20 lbs. As you start when your motivation is high, you have a tendency to over do it and try to justify with some positive self-talk, “No pain, no gain”. But after a few days of trying to push as hard as you can, you start to ache and find that you’re not as excited about the goal. You tell yourself, “I just need more willpower”. But soon after, find yourself completely unmotivated and really feeling like you don’t even want the goal anymore.

Sound familiar? Willpower and grind will only get you so far. What happens when the motivation fades?

If you take the above approach you have missed an important step. Before taking action on this new goal – stop and think about what in your life needs to change for you to get to this goal and maintain it. If your goal is to lose that 20 lbs, then maybe you need to start drinking more water. Maybe you need to start cooking healthier meals and/or start exercising on a regular basis. Brainstorm on a list of behaviors that you would expect to have in your life to achieve that goal.

Now let’s make a plan to set you up for success! Usually once you see it on paper – it can start to look overwhelming. But don’t let it – because you are only going to pick ONE.

Before taking action on this new goal – stop and think about what in your life needs to change for you to get to this goal and maintain it.

Step 1

Set up DAILY reminders or triggers that will remind you to do your new habit. Figure out a way to make that ONE behavior part of your day. Schedule it in and commit to that!

Step 2

KEEP TRACK! Track how many days you do your new behavior. Maybe put a calendar somewhere you can see it and put a bright red “X” on every day that you do the new behavior. Make a streak and keep it going!

Step 3

Once this new behavior takes “root”, then it’s time to take a look at the list of behaviors needed to get to your goal. Pick another one and follow the same path. Keep adding and you’ll be surprised at how fast you can achieve your goals!

The hard part with small daily habits is that even though they are easy to do, they are just as easy to skip. The journey won’t be won in one step. It will be taking that small step every day, and that consistency will lead you to the desired results.

Last tip

Be Accountable to someone. Maybe announce your new habit to the world and ask for help following through! Find a few great cheerleaders who will help you through the process!