Want to say goodbye to New Year's Resolutions?
So, it’s that time of year again. JANUARY!
If you haven’t already found yourself bombarded by articles about self-improvement, it’s the friends and colleagues swathed in Lycra and smugness, as they flash their sparkling new gym cards and new-fangled fitness gadgets. Those trinkets sold to us through promises of absolving our bodies of canapés, cocktails and a multitude of other sins over the festive period. “But surely I can become a better person, some wealthy, magnanimous movie star type” I hear you ask. “If only I can keep this one overstated promise to myself, it’s only 365 days after all.”
My challenge to this long standing New Year’s Resolution is – Why? How many of those goals have you ever actually held for an entire year, or dare I say forever? Yes, there is always room for self-improvement but why limit this very worthwhile endeavor to one point in our year? And why at January of all times? A month where funds are low, the weather is gloomy and hangovers are only just beginning to abate. Surely this is a month where we need to be kinder to ourselves and allow our bodies to get back into our daily routines, whilst finding an activity we enjoy doing?
According to a poll taken for Bupa in November 2016 32% of Britons plan to make a new year’s resolution. The majority of these resolutions involve weight loss, improved fitness and healthier eating, however 63% of those adults recorded as setting a resolution conceded to having failed to complete it. The majority of these were broken within less than 3 months and a large proportion of those withstanding less than one month. The outcome is clear, by herding ourselves into quick fixes and unachievable promises we are setting ourselves up to fail. Why not make this year different? Don’t set such a crazy level of weight loss by the end of January, allow yourself to indulge when you can, but enjoy a balance of indulgence, healthy eating and taking part in an exercise you love so that it’s something you’ll happily continue throughout the year, without having to force yourself up the stairs to the gym if you don’t like running or dragging your feet into a dance class you pretend to enjoy. Find something you LOVE to do, whether it be yoga and Pilates, jogging on the treadmill, squash, badminton or swimming.
I say we focus on the more habitual changes, let the universe tell you when you need to adjust. After all learning is something we experience through our daily lives.
Rather than telling myself this January that I want to lose weight I plan to tell myself, throughout the year, to make positive decisions that promote my sense of well-being. Rather than committing to a new diet, the very nature of which implies temporarily, allow treats, enjoy variety and maintain a balance of regular activities.
By choosing a step by step journey towards healthier habits it is much easier to address challenges in manageable chunks. It is more likely that one will resent abstaining from a social dinner to sit at home and puritanically chomp on lettuce, instead why not provide yourself with choices? Go out for dinner and have 2 courses rather than 3, or go without alcohol. By taking autonomy and exercising will power we show ourselves our own capabilities and strengths.
It is with this long term method in mind that I say NO to the New Year’s resolution. No to following manufactured rules and a hearty YES to thinking like the individuals we are!
We hope you enjoy 2017 and we can’t wait to see you all happy and healthy!
Until next time, Lucy x