Listen to “How to Stick to Your Resolutions, Big and Small”.
Whether you’re trying to cut out sugar, stop negative thinking, or stick to your exercise routine, we all start our resolutions filled with hope and promise. Most of us truly believe that we will stick to our deadlines and have the willpower to succeed. In reality though, we aren’t that good at it.
Less than 10% of all New Year’s resolutions, many of which involve changing our behaviours, are actually successful. One reason for this is that most people set themselves up for failure when they are trying to give things up. Setting a date and trying to use the cold turkey method is probably the worst way to achieve a resolution.
Here are three of the most common resolutions and ways you can begin to address them:
Negative self-talk is any inner dialogue you have with yourself that may be limiting your ability to believe in yourself and your own abilities, and reach your potential. Most of us do it from time to time but did you know that it can cause significant stress, not only to us but to those around us?
If you want to flip your self-talk from negative to positive, you’ll need to change the way you view yourself. Start by speaking kindly to yourself, in an upbeat manner, and you will soon feel the difference.
Even if you don’t feel like being nice to yourself, fake it ‘til you make it. However, the fastest, most sustainable way to turn around your negativity is to make sure that you believe you deserve every kind and encouraging word you say to yourself.
You can begin the transition by repeating these statements:
I will no longer compare myself to others.
I will love all parts of myself today, without judgment.
I will forgive myself for all of the things I have done in the past.
I am ready to find love.
I am full of love.
I am fortunate to be who I am.
2. Eat less junk food and cut down on sugar
Treat eating as an act of self-love. Treat your body as you would a child. Attend to it gently, attentively and with care and, importantly, feed it clean food.
We often like to indulge in low-quality fast food but consider the term “junk food”. Junk refers to trash or something you wouldn’t really want, while food is an essential part of our existence. No one wants to eat garbage, but that’s exactly what eating junk food implies.
Mindful eating is the solution. It is all about paying attention to the way we eat. Practising mindful eating simply means being present when we eat – paying attention to our food choices and being aware of what we put into our bodies.
To practise mindful eating you need to look or think about the choices you make, and becoming aware of what’s on offer. Notice all the factors at play – the different foods, what they’re made of, how they are prepared, how they smell, the cost. Notice the choice is yours, and what thoughts or feelings arise from each option, without trying to change them.
3. Exercise regularly
The key to regular exercise is to figure out how much time you really have. Not how much you want to have or hope to have. Once you know this, you can fit your workouts into that time, rather than trying to create more time from thin air.
You don’t need an hour to get a great workout. The right exercises can make a difference in just 15-minute slots.
There are lots of reasons why we skip exercise, but part of overcoming that involves adjusting our attitudes and finding workouts we enjoy. We often try workout programs to lose weight, without considering our own personalities and what we enjoy.
You don’t have to start a running program just because your friend lost 25 pounds while training for a marathon or go to spin class just because your spouse thinks it’s the best thing in the world. You have to find what you like and, sometimes, that takes a little experimentation.
Paying more attention to what you really need, rather than sticking to a rigid weight loss goal, can help you stick to your exercise program. Find something you really like to do and you will always find time for it, no matter how busy you are.