New Year – New You?

New Year— New You?

Is it really? Does the calendar turning over to a new year really carry with it a “clean slate” of new opportunities? Each New Year we feel that January 1st hits some magic reset button and all of a sudden all the goals we have been striving for will now be within reach and the challenge we have faced in the past will magically disappear. Does purchasing a new calendar really change anything? Will the new year really be any different?
Perhaps you find these thoughts on the pessimistic end of the spectrum but I believe it is time we begin to examine the whole New Year’s Resolution phenome realistically. In reality it is estimated that *Roughly 62% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, 38% of which are weight/health related. Of the top 10 resolutions lose weight is #1 & get fit/healthy is #5. Of all resolutions (health and non-health related) 34% are abandoned after the 1st month. ** Roughly 80% of new gym memberships started between the 1st and 2nd week of January stop coming by the second week of February
Why do so many dreams and goals of a new year become abandoned in their infancy? I believe there are two reasons our resolutions fail.
The first I eluded to earlier, if the only reason you are trying to change your life is because the calendar says “January”, you’re in trouble. The number one ingredient to achieving any goal worthwhile is buy in. Making changes is hard. There will be plenty of bumps in the road and time you want to quit. When you are personally invested in a goal, something you truly desire and are ready to sacrifice for that driving force will keep you moving forward through the tough times. Without that reasons, that why giving up become far too easy. “It’s January”, is not a reason that will keep you going through the dark times. I’m not saying don’t try, I’m saying spend some time reflecting on the real reason you want to make a change to give yourself a fighting chance.
The second is a bit simpler but no less important. However, this one can be really tough to implement.
Too much, too fast, too soon will cause burnout (according to the stats, after about 6 weeks). If you have not worked out in years maybe starting off at 6 days a week is a bit much. If fast food bags are filling your car going completely vegan overnight might prove a bit more challenge than your ready for. As a society we tend to subscribe to the “all or nothing” theory but remember the tortoise and the hare? That whole slow and steady wins the race thing? Yeah, it works. I’m not saying don’t attack your goals, I’m saying be realistic. Big changes take time, more specific small consistent things done over long periods of time. The goal is sustainability. Most people start at a pace they can never sustain then when things get hard or a holiday comes up or they get sick everything grinds to a hault. Start with a schedule and changes you can live with and give yourself room to grow. Success breeds more success.
So from myself and the entire Justice League of Performance we wish you not only the best for 2015 but for many years to come. Here to setting the intention to living well whatever that may look like for you.
* statistics are sited from the university of Scranton, journal of clinical psychology (1/1/2014)
** Study from IHRSA in 2009

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