Why don't Resolutions work?

Every year we start with the best intentions of achieving all of our goals. The New Year often breathes new life into our workout routines. Often it’s a chance to start over where we have failed many times before. For many of us it's like turning a new page in our life. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, approximately 50 percent of the population makes resolutions each New Year. Among the top resolutions are weight loss, exercise, stopping smoking, better money management, and debt reduction.

Some people say resolutions are a form of "cultural procrastination" using them as a way to reinvent oneself.  They can often be useful in motivating us to get our butts in gear for the New Year. The problem is people aren't willing to change their bad habits, which is why there is such a high failure rate in actual reaching our resolutions. Maybe one reason we don't change our bad habits is because as human begins we would rather continue doing something that doesn't work, than try something new that could work, but could also fail. We are creatures of habit and routine, so we keep telling ourselves this will be the year it works. Unfortunately, year after year this failure created distrust within ourselves. "Why keep doing the same thing if I keep failing at it?" This  distrust in ourselves leads people to quit all together. 

What's the solution then?   Well often goals are unrealistic, not specific enough, and based on willpower, not systems. You can't rely on willpower alone to succeed. If you try and build a house without nails it's only a matter of time before the house falls, right? The same goes for your mindset. Think of the systems you build as your nails and the willpower as the wood.  For example, if you want to lose 10 pounds, then start a food diary, or pre-make your food for the week. You can't simply "will" the weight off, but you can create a system of planning and logging your food. Now let's say you have a goal of walking more this year. Again "willing" yourself to walk more isn't enough, but you can create a system of parking further away from work, taking the stairs more, or walking the dog an extra 10 minutes every day.

The point is your system is the structured habits you bring into your daily routine. This structure will help you achieve your goals much more easily.Creating your own system can be easy. I often create a system using the familiar acronym.

S.M.A.R.T. 

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant

Time-bound

If your resolutions match up with all of these areas, then you’re well on your way to achieving all of your fitness goals. 

Another big technique that can help is having someone to hold you accountable to your goals. Maybe a family member, workout partner, or even your best friend can help. Personal trainers are a great way to make sure you reach your goals. It's there job to keep you on track, implement a system in your daily routine, and keep records of your progress, so you can see your results over time. 

like using mini goals as another technique to help me reach my resolution for the year. These are simple, shot term goals that you can achieve within 6-30days. For example, walk 1 mile, or no sugar for 30 days.  Once you start meeting these goals the positive momentum will carry over and help you achieve the even bigger goals you have for the year. 

Well hopefully some of these techniques can help guide you in the right direction this New Year. Just remember be specific, be realistic, and use a system and you just might achieve that resolution you have failed in achieving so many times before.