Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Why Resolutions Don't Work And How to Make Them

This group of CrossFitters has no problem with their goals. Only how far they can take it to the next level.

December you start making 'Resolutions'. January is the month you  put those 'Resolutions' to the test.

Does it work???..NO!!! If it worked then why are more and more people making 'Resolutions'?

You want to know why? Because according to websters dictionary (noun) “An often ill advised pretend goal that is destined to fail from the start. These feeble attempts are made year after year with no avail. Often accepted by a lazy Western culture as a fun excuse to share with their friends in order to justify maintaining their current lack of fitness.”

Why do people abandon their resolutions?

One reason is that we become discouraged when results don't come quickly enough, or when we find that we are not necessarily happier because of them.

Well what do you people expect??? Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, "How long have I been slacking off?" It is easy to think to yourself if I put in a little effort I can erase months or years of unhealthy eating/exercising. Sorry guys, not the case. The statistics say Americans start their resolutions on Jan 1/2 and quit by Feb  2. Setting goals/resolutions is definitely the 1st step but it going to take A LOT more then just taking that 1st step.

Behavioral change requires sustained effort and commitment. It is also typically accompanied by physical discomfort. For example, reducing food, alcohol or nicotine intake from a level to which you have become accustomed, results in cravings. Forcing yourself to get off your cozy chair to exercise is often difficult when you're tired. And of course, it's easy to procrastinate until tomorrow, so that you can rationalize not disciplining yourself today.

"How to make New Year's Resolutions Stick"
Therefore, if you are going to make New Year's resolutions this year, be sure you are ready for the challenge. Here are some tips to maximize your success:
1. Examine your motivation for change. Are you just feeling full and bloated at this moment? Do you have a hangover from last night? Did your last cigarette give you have a hacking cough? Or is there a more enduring reason for your desire to change? If you can't think of a better reason than the fact that you're uncomfortable at this moment, then you're better off not making promises to yourself that you probably won't keep. However, if you are realistic and accept the responsibility of discipline required for change, your motivation will be sustained long after the discomfort from over-indulgence has passed.
2. Set realistic goals. Habits and behaviors that are changed gradually have a greater chance of success. (Set performance goals for ex: I'm working out 3x a week or every other day, start with eating a healthy breakfast or drinking twice as much water daily.)  
3. Focus on the behavioral change more than on the goal. For example, if you decide to control your eating, your goal for the day is not to lose a specific number of pounds, but to stick to your program. Such focus on your behavior will help you feel in control of your life. You will gain satisfaction from making sensible choices several times throughout the day.
4. Learn to redefine physical sensations of discomfort. Whenever we restrict ourselves, we have both physical and mental reactions. Someone who is restricting food intake will also feel physical discomfort.
Also take the glass of FULL approach. If you eat more of the good things during the day, you wont crave the bad. Also, if you eat great you can afford to have some treat. Think of it as your bank account. The more and more deposits you make to raise your account. You can afford to have a little 'cheat' once in a while.
5. Set yourself up for success. Find a friend, family member, co-worker, etc... to embark of this healthy year with you. It is much easier to hold someone else accountable and vice versa. It is always easier to let ourselves off the hook, but not your teammate. They won't let you sleep in or slack off and you won't with them. With your nutrition, be smart, keep your fridge and pantry filled with only healthy foods. Surround your daily life with a setup for you to succeed.
6. Allow for imperfection. No one is exactly on target all the time. In fact you should expect to falter every now and then. If you give in to temptation, do not use this as an excuse to abandon the whole program. Learn from your mistake and move on.
7. Do it now. If you're waiting for a more convenient time to begin behavioral change, it won't happen. It's almost never convenient to change ingrained habits. Now is just as convenient as any time. And if you begin now rather than later, you'll have a jump on a more satisfying future. Your body does not have a clock. It doesn't know what day or time of the year it is nor what time of the day it is. You do! Set your plan, stick to it, if you screw up, just go right back to it.

Ideas taken from: http://mentalhealth.about.com/od/selfhelp/a/newyears.htm

So, followers or readers;

What helped you succeed with your goals in 2010?

Anything you learned about yourself last year that you will use this year to help with your goals?

Sound off in the comments and help others succeed in 2011.

"The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%."-- Andrew Carnegie


  1. Great blog today Chris!!
    I "used" to be a chronic resolution maker every December... Eat better... Work out more... Yada Yada Yada... But I always FAILED, and when I failed I QUIT!! It took me several years, and several failed attempts at resolutions to realize that I will never be perfect. It's okay to fail, but it's not okay to fail, and wait until next year to start up again!!
    Here's to no resolutions in 2011, and being the best "me" I can be!!
    P.S. I made the blog pic!! WOOT WOOT!!!

  2. I hate the new year and having to think of things to change. So know I look at things to improve on. For example....I want to be a better lifter and lift more weight at the gym. So I am now going to Oly once a week. (YES I AM....already have week 1 under my belt). By working to improvement I do not worry about failing....I just continue to try harder and push more!

  3. Great post! I don't usually set to many resolutions. I already know that I'm going to eat like crap, I've accepted this and I try to purchase more produce and what not... but I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I do like to use this time after the holidays to try to refocus my life... the holidays get so crazy with work schedules and parties and drinking.... etc etc etc so I do try to take January as a "SLOW DOWN YOUR LIFE" month and get back into the zone.

    BTW... I saw Kim at Oly tonight, she was there. :)

  4. Great post! I’m SO over resolutions because when I don’t achieve my resolutions or if they are short-lived, I feel like a failure. It is these thoughts that have controlled me for too long. So this year (and beyond), I vow to give myself more “pats on the back” and to improve upon my physical weaknesses in a more functional manner via hard work, dedication, and stronger mental focus.

  5. All great post ladies! You have everything it takes to take your health/FITness to a very high level and more importantly help and inspire others to do the same. Continue being such great role models.