Your New Year’s Resolution – One Word Will Make the Difference
We are a society run on tradition – a belief or a behavior that is practiced generation after generation. Sometimes traditions are practiced blindly without any knowledge whatsoever of their origin or significance.
One of the longest standing traditions in our society is the New Year’s Resolution – first being practiced 4,000 years ago. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it’s simple: it is a promise of self-improvement that one makes to oneself with an official start date of the first day of the New Year. There are no restrictions as to what these resolutions can be. I will do [insert]. I will be [insert].
The idea is this: new calendar year = opportunity for a fresh start or a new chapter in your book.
It should be to nobody’s surprise that the most popular resolutions are health related. Here are some common ones:
- In “insert year”, I will lose weight
- In “insert year”, I will eat healthier
- In “insert year”, I will go to the gym
- In “insert year”, I will run more
… and other varieties of this theme.
Disclaimer: I apologize in advance if I burst your bubble with what I say next but, read on, it gets better.
Destined for Failure?
These are GREAT promises to make to yourself! Honestly, what is more important than health? Good health is a vehicle to all else in life. Good health enables you to do anything you put your mind to. Good health is what makes the world your “oyster”.
So, prioritizing health is amazing! Here’s the big “but”… Generally, resolutions start off very strong. You will make a bulletproof plan. You will buy the right outfits. You will (over)pay for a personal trainer. And, right out of the gate, you execute to a T and you feel fantastic for it!
- End of first day – wow, where has this been all my life?
- End of second day – I can really do this!
- End of first Week – I’m already down 3 pounds; this is going to be easy!!
- End of second Week – who said this was difficult? I’m going to see my abs in no time!
- End of first month – hmm, I’ve worked out so hard for a full month and I’m not seeing much of a difference!? This is a lot harder than I thought…
- End of the third month – remember in January when I was getting healthy? Maybe I should do that again… But… life is so busy… Wait, health is important. I’m going to do this… right after this episode of Gilmore Girls…
Does this sound familiar? If it does, I guess you can take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. Unfortunately, on a year-to-year basis, at least 80% of New Year’s Resolutions, health-related or otherwise, fail. I wish I could tell you otherwise… but I can’t.
There’s Still Hope… And Lots of it!
Again, I apologize if I burst your bubble but I would be doing you a major disservice if I lied and told you otherwise. But what if I told you that the solution is simple? No, it’s not a magic pill or a magic formula. It will still require hard work but it will put you in the right mindset for success.
In my very first blog I talked about the power of words – the word was “why”. More specifically, the concept was to ask yourself why. Asking questions of yourself holds so much power. You simply do not find answers to questions that you don’t ask.
I digress… back to the topic of New Year’s Resolution. I truly believe, rather, I know that you increase the chances of success by adding a single word to your resolution. And, that word is “because”:
- In “insert year”, I will lose weight because “insert reason”
- In “insert year”, I will eat healthier because “insert reason”
- In “insert year”, I will go to the gym because “insert reason”
- In “insert year”, I will run more because “insert reason”
This concept applies to all resolutions – not just the health related ones.
You have to dig deep for this. Your “because” has to be more than just ego. And, as it pertains to health specifically, it has to be for more than just aesthetic reasons. Aesthetically driven goals can be motivating in the short-term, but when it comes to long-term lifestyle and health changes, there needs to be a deeper reason. The deeper you dig, the more you increase your chances of success. For example:
- Resolution A: in “insert year”, I will eat healthier
- Resolution B: in “insert year”, I will eat healthier because I want to look good in a bathing suit
- Resolution C: in “insert year”, I will eat healthier because I want to set a good example for my children
Which of these resolutions do you suppose has the highest chance of long-term success?
What’s Your “Because”? Five Examples to Get You Going
I fully acknowledge that, while the concept is simple, the execution may be difficult. But, I promise you that, once the gears are in motion, you will find many profound reasons why you’ve made yourself that promise. Here are five good examples that I’ve heard in the past:
- I will eat healthier because I want my children to live healthy lives
- I will work harder because I want to show my children that hard work pays off
- I will get more fit because I want to be physically involved in my daughter’s life
- I will eat less processed foods because my family has a history of heart disease and eating more foods in their natural form will reduce my chances of getting heart disease
- I will travel this year because I want to gain perspective on life
Start asking yourself these questions because it will significantly increase your odds of New Year’s Resolution success. Remind yourself of this when you run into obstacles. And, you will. It’s inevitable. But now, with this new mindset, your “because” will drive you through these obstacles and straight toward success.
Time is ticking. Make this year the best year of your life.