Why New Year's Resolutions Don’t Work and What to do Instead

Healthy Living

Why New Year's Resolutions Don’t Work and What to do Instead

It’s a brand new year and time for a fresh start. Maybe you were telling yourself that this will be the year, you’ll lose the weight and get your sugars down and reduce your medications too. 

You’ll show those doctors that are always talking about losing weight, you’re going to power through January…

New Year's resolutions seem like a great idea - you’ve got a brand new year and you can leave all the rubbish from last year where it belongs. If only it worked out that way - research and plenty of experience tell us this isn’t so.

Scranton University’s study showed that only 8% successfully stuck to their resolution and achieved their goals.

This is nothing to do with motivation or willpower - you know how much you want to improve your health - so why doesn’t the resolution stick?

The main reason is that the resolution doesn’t give you all the details you need to change.

Lots of people make a resolution to lose weight - but what does that mean? How much are they going to lose? By when? What are they going to change in their diet? What are they going to do if the ‘diet’ stops working?

Don’t fall into the New Year’s Resolution trap this year - it’s time to do something different

5 steps that will help you change for life

1. Be clear on what you want

If your overall goal is clear and powerful then it’s a lot easier to get there. Nobody wants to lose weight - they want what losing weight gives them.

A goal of losing 30 lbs isn’t actually that inspiring, replace it with what losing the weight will give you instead. It’s important to create your goal in present tense, as if it’s already happened.

This creates a clear map in your subconscious and makes it much easier to stay on track.

Here’s a goal that I helped an insulin dependent type 2 diabetic achieve:

“I feel amazing sitting in the doctor’s office hearing that I don’t need insulin anymore, my sugars are normal, I’m wearing my favourite size 12 jeans and I feel so proud of myself.”

2. Don’t confuse actions with goals

This is an easy trap to fall into. I will often hear people say “My goal is to go to the gym 3 times a week”.

This isn’t actually a goal, it is the action you would take to improve your fitness and health.

The goal might be “I want to play with my grandchildren and take them swimming and to the park and still have energy left over”

One of the ways of achieving that would be to go to the gym regularly, that’s just one way of getting to your goal. What happens if you don’t like the gym and stop going, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it just means that you find another way to achieve your goal, the goal doesn’t change but the plan to achieve it can and will change.

3. Perfection is your enemy

To err is human and this needs to be built into your plans. You will make mistakes, it’s the only way to learn what works. If you expect yourself to be perfect you are setting yourself up for failure.

It’s not the falling that counts - it’s how quickly you dust yourself off and get back on your feet that makes all the difference. Forgive yourself and get back on track - that’s all you need to do.

4. Smalls steps lead to massive changes

On of the biggest mistakes people make is to ask too much of themselves. They decide to change their diet, get fit, overhaul their finances and wonder why it’s so difficult to make changes.

Imagine you just make one small change and let that become part of your routine before you add in anything else.

A great example of this is testing blood sugars. Most type 2 diabetics are told there's no point in testing and it doesn’t help (they are wrong!).

So many type 2’s that I am lucky enough to support have completely turned everything around just by taking the first step and testing their sugars themselves.

5. Celebrate your success

We are often so busy working towards our goals that we don’t appreciate what we’ve achieved.

On of the things humans are programmed to do is look to the future and think of all the things missing now.

The best thing you can do to motivate yourself is to look back and see how far you’ve come. This cements in your subconscious that you are moving forwards and you are totally capable of achieving your goals.

The other effect is that you feel good! It’s much easier to keep going with changes when you are feeling good and reflecting on other life challenges that you’ve overcome.

Now it’s over to you. What does 2017 hold for you?

Mary has worked with type 2 diabetics for over 20 years. She is determined to turn the type 2 tide by giving people the information at FreeFromType2.com that they really need to make the best choices for them. She knows that a diet sheet and a prescription isn't the answer. Mary is on a mission to eradicate complications for type 2 diabetics. Download Mary's FREE GUIDE  to help you take charge of your diabetes and your health.