Jeff Cadwell asked:
Remember last year at this time? You set your new goals. You even wrote them down. You started with the best intentions. But your best weight loss objectives were neglected before the holiday decorations were even put away. What happened? Was there a bump in the road or did you just throw in the towel because it was too hard and you talked yourself out of it?
If you want a chance to make your 2007 resolutions stick, it is time to come to terms with how resolutions get pushed aside and what you can do about it.
Top Resolution Breakers
1. Your goal is unrealistic.
Example: I will lose 25 pounds by January 30.
Flawed Method: It is impractical to think you will able to lose that much weight so quickly and then to even fathom keeping it off and still remaining healthy. It is just not realistic. Even if you did, it would all be water weight and more importantly, you are going to be losing lean muscle mass.
Realistic Objectives: Set intentions that are sensible and reachable. Understand that losing a little less than a pound per week is healthier and practical for long-term results. Give yourself a fighting chance! Itâ€™s not the time frame that matters. Itâ€™s your health and well-being that are most important. The most significant thing is that you are moving forward and progressing toward your long-term goal.
2. You do not give yourself a chance to hit a bump in the road and you have no support system to get back on track.
Example: I will not eat sugary foods. No ifs, ands or buts.
Flawed Method: Great idea, but who can live like that? The most unrealistic frame of mind is thinking that you are â€œsuper humanâ€. All it does is set you up for failure. If you were to have a slip, you would go into the all too familiar negative self-talk of telling yourself that you are a complete failure and that you are just not worth it.
Realistic Objectives: Set a â€œsafety dateâ€ on your calendar for creating a plan of action with a â€œsafety friendâ€, life coach or buddy who understands your challenges. In those cases where there might be weakness and/or emotions that cause you to go to food for solace, it is always comforting to know you have a safe place to fall and strategize to get back on target.
You might also think about creating a Plan B for yourself (e.g. take a walk until the temptation fades away). This way you can get back on track immediately. Just remember, most people who are successful at losing weight take it one step at a time. They begin by choosing moderation rather than abstinence and they always have back-up strategies.
3. You have too many resolutions or goals.
Example: By the end of January, I will lose 15 pounds, give up eating sweets, start going to the gym, (and the list goes onâ€¦)
Flawed Method:Too many goals at once stretch every priority too thin. Having too many goals is as bad as having no goals at all. Treating everything as important makes nothing important.
Realistic Objectives: Only a limited number of goals can be pursued at the same time. Pick your priorities. Write out an action plan that you can refer to. Take on one thing at a time, and remember that this is a New Yearâ€™s resolution, so you have 12 months to develop this new healthier lifestyle.
Chart out each goal, and then commit to starting each new endeavor month to month. For instance, you might plan to join a gym in January; in February you want to join a weight loss support group, etc. Set a start and check-up date for each goal so that you can track your progress.
The key is to commit to writing down your objectives and then either holding yourself accountable or asking for assistance in the process (life coach, buddy, etc.).
4. The resolution has no specific outcome.
Example: I will join the gym sometime this year.
Flawed Method: So you are intending on exercising at a gym. But is this today, tomorrow, or in December of 2007, when your actual goal is to lose the weight as soon as possible?
Realistic Objectives: How many pounds do you want to lose? How much is it going to cost you monthly for a gym membership? Is there still money left over for leisure activities and unexpected expenses (health issues, car problems, etc.)? A winning action plan outlines what to do, when to do it and how to assess it. For example, you can weigh yourself weekly, reviewing if you are on target or if your current nutritional and exercise plans are working toward your resolution. It then gives you a chance to make changes accordingly.
5. Someone else made your resolutions for you.
Example: I will reduce my waist size four inches by April (subtext: because my significant other wants me to wear the style of clothing that I wore when we first met.)
Flawed Method: If someone else has their own intentions for you, there will not be a need for self-empowerment. You will wind up becoming resentful and irritated at the resolution itself, if not at that someone who set you up in this self-deprecating situation.
Realistic Objectives: A New Year’s Resolution must be an empowering place because it is something you personally have thought about, planned and pursued in your own time and space. The outcome of the resolution itself must have a deep and important meaning to you. It must be valid enough for you to set your mind toward doing it. If you have a case where you would like to meet both partner’s needs, it is critical not to push one partner into an uninvited activity that gratifies the other.
New Yearâ€™s Resolutions can become a â€œjumping off placeâ€ for many, by altering areas in their life that require self-improvement. However, it can also be a time of struggle, depression and internal conflict. You can protect yourself and increase your chances for success by considering the above steps in advance of preparing your personal resolutions.
Copyright 2007 Jeff Cadwell