Did you make New Year’s resolutions again this year?
If so you’re not alone. Every year at this time of year an all to common occurrence happens. It starts with this year I really resolve to … in the middle it might describe dieting, losing weight, starting an exercise program, joining a gym, stopping smoking, decreasing stress, being happier, getting a raise or a new job, starting a business, saving money and on and on and on. Making resolutions again usually concludes with this time I really mean it. This time it will be different.
The most common resolutions are lifestyle related. The only problem is that statistics show that more than half of those who, for example, start an exercise program will stop within six months and end up making resolutions again next year. Go to your local gym right now and you will experience a jam packed place. Go in mid to late February and it will feel empty in comparison. We were out for a run last Saturday morning and just about couldn’t find a parking spot at the Kinsmen centre in Edmonton. Then out on the trails it almost felt like we were in a race with all the people out for runs. It was great to see but I know what will come next for many. Same goes for the dieters. Now don’t get me wrong. If you made a commitment to your health then I do hope you succeed and stay on track. One of the key pillars that my business is founded on revolves around supporting people in achieving and living an abundant health lifestyle. Unfortunately for most it is a repeat of the on again off again cycle and a health train wreck looming as a result.
How to start the process to stop having to make resolutions again next year.
I do like the idea of setting goals and working towards a vision one has for every area in their life and the start of the year is ONE natural time to do exactly that. I would love to see people adjust the path they are on and continue along their journey of healthy sustainable living rather than restarting after every off again period thereby requiring resolutions again! What I have come to understand is that there are three essential steps leading to breaking the on again off again lifestyle cycle so many are caught up in. I’d like to share one of those with you.
Why do you want to start a lifestyle program or change elements in your lifestyle?
Why do you make the resolution? What do you want from it? Think about that for a moment. It’s different for each one of us. What did you come up with? If you are like most with respect to your lifestyle then the top three included the following:
- Lose weight
- Increase energy
- Look better
If this is why you are in a lifestyle program then I would like to, respectfully, suggest that your reasons are not compelling enough to yourself and you will likely fall off track and stop your program. It’s just too superficial a reason for sustaining your program and maintaining your achieved results, if any.
Ask yourself WHY you want these three things. The answer to that is a bit closer to your core WHY.
Have you ever listened to children and their amazingly inquisitive nature? They will ask you why something is the way it is. You will answer. They will again ask why. You will answer and they will again ask why, and again and again and again. It might drive you nuts but from the child’s perspective they are engaging in the process of self discovery and digging deeper to understand their world around them. Find that child within you, who has likely been buried with all of the burdens of daily life, and bring them out to play. Continue to ask yourself why as if you were that child once again and every time you come up with a deeper WHY for shifting your lifestyle and sustaining Thriving Health ask again. With each WHY it’s as if you bite a bit deeper into your apple of life until you reveal the core; your core WHY. These (there may be more than one) are the deeply compelling reasons to start, succeed at, and sustain a healthy lifestyle … for a lifetime.
This process may not be as easy as it sounds. Digging deeper to your core might be met with significant inner resistance and may even be influenced by external barriers. Support to help you in this process can be invaluable. When you ultimately reveal your core WHYs you will be able to seed the foundation of your Thriving Health. It is a start. There are additional steps and factors to ensure you can sustain your health for a lifetime but this one is essential before any other steps can have a chance.
Whether your goal is lifestyle, business, financial, or relationship related wouldn’t it be nice to never make an on again, off again resolution again!
Here’s to your health and happiness in the year ahead and well beyond!