A brand new year is naturally motivating. Kind of like Monday mornings, only more so. Out with the old (all of our failures), and in with the new (all of the possibilities).
In January half of us will set goals to eat better, be healthier or lose weight. But in a matter of months — in some cases weeks or days — habits slide. Motivation tanks. How can someone feel so sure of herself at the start of the year and ultimately not experience success?
I’ll share with you the five reasons why it’s hard to follow through and what to do instead to take advantage of your natural New Year's motivation and make your resolutions stick this year.
Reason #1: Too much all at once
Going like gangbusters and doing “all the things” gives you a short-term high, but it’s unsustainable. And once you stop one thing, you usually stop everything.
Instead: Take small steps, one at a time. Build your habits slowly and surely.
Reason #2: Caught up in confusion
Your coworker is going keto, your partner started intermittent fasting, your friend swears a fat-burning supplement worked for her. Countless options create confusion. You try too many things you can’t stick with, often things you don’t really want to do.
Instead: Tailor a plan to your specific needs and preferences. You’re in control and more likely to stay consistent.
Reason # 3: Overly focused on behavior
If information was all we needed, everyone would be fit and healthy.
Instead: Dive into what causes your behavior. That is, your mindset. Trust me. It’s running the show.
Reason #4: Glomming onto the next trend
A food tracking app, fitness watch, specific diet… Thinking the solution is “out there” puts the control for your results outside of you.
Instead: Seek the tools and strategies that compliment how you best operate. Whether you’re a numbers person, a planner or a more creative type, find something to work with you so it enhances your motivation, rather than feeling like a nagging partner who’s telling you what to do.
Reason #5: Believing your brain
Your brain makes up excuses for why it can’t work (e.g., you’ve never done it before) or why you failed (e.g., because you can’t stick with an exercise program). Believe it and you’re done.
Instead: Take a pause when your brain makes up an excuse and question it. Consider what’s possible rather than being defined by what’s happened (or not) in the past.
Ultimately, your mindset is more important than all of it — what gym you join, app you use or food plan you follow. Because whether you follow through, whether you feel successful, whether you ultimately get (and maintain) the results you want, all depends on how you’re thinking.
For example, my client Holly used to think she couldn’t lose more than 20 lbs. before gaining it all back. So that’s what she did, until she changed her mindset. And lost 60 lbs.
Sustainability is the key to achieving everything. I always tell my clients, “what gets you there, keeps you there.” The health and body you want comes from the small, daily habits that take you in the direction of your goals.
Heather Moreno is a weight loss coach who helps women stop agonizing over what they eat so they can lose weight and actually keep it off. Download her free 10 Hacks to Start Losing Weight and Feeling Better.