3 mistakes that doom your New Year’s resolutions — and how to fix them
By Brittany Anas
Let’s resolve to make our resolutions last beyond Valentine’s Day this year, eh?
Health and fitness resolutions — specifically “losing weight” — are among the most popular New Year’s resolutions. But, scientist Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol published a study that proves most resolution-makers — even the most energized and determined — flop when it comes to following through. In 2007, Wiseman tracked 3,000 people attempting to achieve resolutions that ranged from losing weight to working out to drinking alcohol less. At the onset of the study, about half of the participants were confident they’d be successful. But one year later, only 12 percent actually achieved their goal.
Here are some common mistakes people make with their New Year’s resolutions, and easy fixes that can help 2014 be the year that you follow through with your goals.
- Your resolutions are too general or, worse, too lofty. So you want to “lose weight?” in 2014. Nailing down a number is a good thing, so long as it’s practical. Safe weight loss is 1-2 pounds a week. Sure, you might lose more in your initial week if you drastically change your diet or add in much more exercise. But one of the reasons resolutions go out the window is we’ve become accustomed to instant gratification. Even if you follow a weight-loss plan and get in a daily dose of exercise, it’s unrealistic to expect be down 20 pounds by February or even by Spring Break. But, say you lose a pound a week — which is totally do-able — you’ll have safely arrived at your goal weight by Memorial Day. Even better: You’re more likely to keep the weight off because you likely adjusted your lifestyle.
- You don’t have a plan. Most resolutions require a lifestyle change — which, of course, requires a game plan. If you want to become more healthy in 2014, vow to make micro-resolutions that will help you achieve this goal — like going to the gym at least three days a week and bringing a healthy lunch to work four out of five days. Gradually, mix in some healthy goals that will become habits you won’t even have to think about — like drinking eight glasses of water every day, starting each day with breakfast and making sure that you eat a fruit or veggie with every meal and snack. Keep yourself accountable. The Omron Healthcare Body Fat Monitor and Scale, for example, includes three fitness indicators: body fat percentage readings, your body mass index (BMI) and body weight. Keep a notebook near the scale to track your progress. (Save on your health and wellness purchases with 6 percent Cash Back at QVC through ShopAtHome.com).
- You make multiple resolutions. Funnel all of your energy and focus into a single resolution. When you make multiple resolutions, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Once you nail a resolution, you’ll build your confidence to set another one in 2015.
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