Today I wanted to talk a bit about why resolutions fail a lot of the time. A lot of stats show people quit their resolutions within the first 2 weeks of making them.
Today I wanted to talk about why this might be happening and what you can do about it.
A lot of my clients have gone through this process of creating resolutions, trying to become healthier or trying a new diet. They end up failing because they cannot sustain it. It is not sustainable and they feel deprived and don’t know what else to do. This was my experience for many years as well. I did a lot of dieting – I failed a lot and things didn’t work. It was a constant struggle.
Here are a few reasons I see that resolutions don’t work:
1. Changing Everything at Once
Part of the reason resolutions don’t work is that you try to change everything at once. So you pick up a new diet book, go to the gym every day, and do a 180 on your life. You’ve been so fed up with not feeling great that you need to change everything.
When you do that – change everything a lot of what you are changing is new to you and resistance comes up. The first 2 weeks are hard and there is a lot of resistance.
A lot the reasons we have the habits we have in our life is to create comfort and security. When we change them we become uncomfortable and resistance sets in. If we make a lot of changes we experience a lot of discomfort.
What we can do about it is change one thing at a time. We can decide to go to the gym for example 2x this week instead of 7, or start drinking enough water throughout the day until it is a habit. This creates more manageable change.
2. We are Externally Motivated Rather than Internally
What I mean by this is that we want to hit a certain weight or size or look a certain way. We will do whatever it takes to get there (or try).
When making changes see how you are feeling everyday, at each workout or meal. We check in internally to see if we are feeling good with the changes or not.
We are not powering through to the external result and depriving ourselves of fats, chocolate or desserts for example. This is too extreme and creates more discomfort than we can handle. If we are eating in a restrictive way and not tuning into how we feel then we don’t have that motivation to keep going to see if this new way feels good.
3. Not Being Consistent
Consistency doesn’t mean doing something every single day. Rather, it is giving yourself a certain type of consistency.
For example you can start working out 3 days a week and after a month of getting comfortable with it, you can add in another day.
Consistency can also mean doing something a certain percentage of the time. Sometimes clients feel if they don’t eat well for 1 meal they are not consistent and have sabotaged themselves. I tell clients to work with a 80:20 rule so that if they eat 1 meal that is not “healthy” they are not throwing out all their progress. It’s not about perfection, its about progress.
Support is important if you are doing something different to everyone else around you. If you have a friend that is doing it with you that is amazing and helps. Without support you’re left alone to figure it out. The voices of people questioning your choices might become louder than your own. “Why are you changing? Why are you not going out to dinner with me?” etc.
While you are changing habits, if you don’t have the right support around you (friends, family, a coach or nutritionist ;)) it will be hard.
A lot of the times clients have me to keep them accountable and to support them (and guide them!). It’s hard to continue with resolutions because there are usually others trying to deter you. Whenever a person changes it opens the eyes of the people around them that they might need to change and that is scary. Change is scary. It is scary for the person making the change but the person making the change is fed up and more motivated to change.
Support helps us to continue moving forward through resistance and if we move through it eventually we can start to inspire those around us as well. Hence where I come in with clients!
There you have it the 4 big reasons I see why resolutions and diets don’t work. We usually try to do all of these things too quickly and I hope I helped you with some solutions.
If you need support please be sure to reach out. I look forward to sharing more with you soon!
To sustained change,
Certified Holistic Nutritionist.