Every year thousands of us make New Year’s resolutions that 99% of us break or don’t complete. Most prevalent are goals to lose weight and get in shape. But just like the chronic cigarette smoker who knows that smoking is bad but can’t stop because they’re addicted, losing weight and getting into shape needs more motivation than just your brain saying (along with everyone around you) that you need to do this to be healthy.
When you’re in the thick of it (no pun intended) the last thing you want to do is stop doing something that seemingly makes you feel better (i.e., smoking, eating that pint of ice cream, drinking that bottle of wine). Even though you know that these choices are not in your body’s best interest, your brain is used to these comforts to deal with life’s stresses. This is why we fail at new years resolutions. They’re made because it’s traditional to make them not because we have complete conviction behind the need to change. So, while the concept of a resolution is good – setting goals and starting them on a pivotal date – there is clearly not enough motivation placed on these goals to sustain our focus, and motivation is key!
So how then do you get and sustain true motivation? That, my friends, comes from within, when you are truly ready to acknowledge how unhappy you feel in the physical condition you’re in. It’s not about needing to get healthier for someone else; it’s not about wanting to feel sexier or more attractive; it’s not about wearing a different clothing size. It’s about YOU wanting to be different. YOU wanting to end the depression that follows you around because you feel unattractive or don’t have the energy to keep up with your kids or friends.
If whatever is to be gained by you changing is important enough to you, nothing will stop you.
Once you want the change for reasons so strong that nothing can deter you, then it instantly becomes a goal you can achieve. You don’t need a date on the calendar to get you started. You don’t need an extreme diet. You don’t even need a personal trainer (did I just say that?!). All you need to keep your desire for change always in the forefront of your brain. What do you stand to gain by this change? How badly do you want it?
Don’t focus on what you’ll lose, it’s too easy to say “well I don’t have that now anyway.” Focus instead on what you’ll gain. Gaining something is actually a stronger motivator than losing something. Take gambling for instance, we bet on what will win, not what will lose. Focus on what you’ll win, and then remind yourself that any progress towards this goal leaves you in a better place than if you’d done nothing. This wonderful quote by Winston Churchill sums it all up:
SUCCESS IS NOT FINAL. FAILURE IS NOT FATAL. IT’S THE COURAGE TO CONTINUE THAT COUNTS
So enjoy the holidays and your New Year’s celebration, but skip the resolutions. Instead contemplate what you want to gain and how badly you want it, then go get it! (And of course, if you DO want a trainer, or a tailor-made workout routine created by a professional trainer, give me shout. I’m here to cheer you on and help you stay focused!)