New Year’s health and fitness related resolutions – the more involved the worse they are – are bad ideas, so don’t make any. Especially bad are weight-loss based pledges and any kind of plan that involves a fast a furious start covering all things diet and exercise.
I may sound like a party-pooper but the reality is New Year’s resolutions don’t work. For every success story the are thousands of “failed” resolutions. The start of the new year is actually a terrible time to try to make changes to your lifestyle, especially if you live in places where winter hits hard.
Here are five reasons New Year’s fitness resolutions don’t work.
1) The start of a new year is actually a terrible time to make changes to your lifestyle – It is difficult to make changes to your lifestyle because there are so many obstacles at the start of a new year. Schedules change, the weather is lousy in most places and the dreary nature of the winter months make it extremely difficult to make meaningful changes to your lifestyle starting January 1.
2) Weight-loss is a terrible goal – Despite what you may read in the mainstream media weight-loss is not indicative of improved health and/or fitness. The vast majority of people have developed an unhealthy and unrealistic association between weight and health and using weight-loss as a measure of success is a recipe for failure. Those folks who pick the arbitrary “20-pound weight-loss goal,” are the most likely to fail. Also, there is reason to believe that our bodies hold on to fat during the cold, winter months and trying to lose weight is fighting our biology.
3) People try to make too many changes to their lifestyle – The more drastic the changes a person resolves to make, the more likely they are to fail. People who have neglected themselves for any period of time will find it nigh impossible to make big-time changes to their diet while embarking on an exercise program. People who are able to start fast and furious burn-out or get frustrated when the results are slow in coming when they hit the inevitable plateau.
4) People don’t truly understand what it takes to maintain consistency in their lifestyle – It’s easy to say you’re going to exercise and “eat better.” Personally, I think a lot of people make proclamations about their resolutions without having any real intent to follow through on them, and the more vocal someone is about their plans the less-likely they are to be successful. The bottom line is that it is hard to maintain a regular routine and even tougher to start one. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
5) People don’t have the patience to make necessary changes over the long-term – The majority of people do not have the patience to be properly consistent with their diet and exercise. Fitness/health doesn’t happen quickly and/or easily. The problem is that the quick fix/fast and easy solution has been over-sold to the general public. Magazines proclaim that you can lose inches fast, lose weight fast, get a six-pack abs fast and none of this is true. The result is that when people actually try and don’t get the fast results, they get frustrated and give up.
The bottom line is that if you want to make changes to your lifestyle give yourself the chance to be successful and don’t make it tougher than it already is; a New Year’s resolution is not the way to go.