Making weight loss or other resolutions is an annual tradition for most people on New Year’s Day. Like a fresh new page in a notebook we want a shiny, clean slate as we begin January 1st trying to figure out ways to make the next 365 days more worthwhile, improved and recreate a better version of our selves. But do they really work?
Ringing in last year you may have made some pretty lofty resolutions- weight loss; eat healthy, exercise, stop smoking, drinking, join a gym, do yoga, meditate, spend more time with family, spouse, live and love life etc. etc. You name your own special vice then resolute ways to conquer that beast. You might have even written it all down.
So, um……., how did it all work out for you?
I may be wrong, but I’m gonna guess that it didn’t……maybe those weight loss goals just didn’t materialize or maybe you just didn’t make it to the gym everyday like you wanted to. Life is complicated for sure, but keep in mind changing is not easy for most of us so you are not alone.
Here’s why resolutions typically don’t work out for us all. The first thing is to remember is that change is NOT an event or a mystical magical place in time where you instantly change your ways and bad habits and experience weight loss and better health. You don’t magically change after midnight on New Years Eve.
Change is a complicated PROCESS which is precisely why resolutions DO NOT work out for most people – only 8% to be exact!. A study from the University of Scranton and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology tells us that only 8% of people are actually successful in achieving their resolutions!
8%? Wow- what’s that mean for the other 92% of us?
Understanding how change unfolds is critical to mastering real change in our lives. One evidenced-based theory of health habit behavior change is considered one of the most effective in understanding the change process is called “Stages of Change” by Prochaska and DiClemente. This theory explains how change is a PROCESS with steps along the way. These steps are called the 6 Stages of Change and there is no set time that each stage takes to develop and transition to the next. But if you try to jump too quickly and bypass the process, you actually set yourself up to fail. This is what happens for most of us trying to change by sheer force of will. And we end up at the first stage again, and again as we try to master our habits.
It’s really just that simple.
Resolutions don’t work; they usually make us feel worse about ourselves, like some sort of failure and they then proceed to torture us with those demoralizing demons that make us feel miserable and further inhibit the process of real change.
What does work? Intentions and Accountability
Let’s look at Intentions first:
Intentions let us focus on a GOAL. They keep out mind trained on the outcome and let our subconscious work out the details- really, they involve no work at all and that’s what makes intentions so cool and manageable. It can even be (shhhhh)…….FUN 🙂
Keeping our thoughts trained in on the vision of the intention allow those processes of change to naturally unfold. You move in a fluid, tranquil process through the Stages of Change to perfect readiness and action. Doesn’t that sound much better than the old clobbering force of resolutions?
Intentions are powerful statements. How you formulate them can turbocharge their power. Try formulating your intentions with “I am” statements: “I am____________(happy, fulfilled, at my ideal weight, a non-smoker etc). Staying present focused as you set your intentions for the upcoming year will empower the intentions to take place in your world.
Deepak Chopra in his work titled “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A practical guide to the fulfillment of your dreams” states that “Your intent is for the future, but your attention is in the present. As long as your attention is in the present, then your intent for the future will manifest, because the future is created in the present. You must accept the present as is. Accept the present and intend the future. Both past and future are born in the imagination; only the present, which is awareness, is real and eternal…..If you have life-centered, present-moment awareness, then the imaginary obstacles—which are more than ninety percent of perceived obstacles—disintegrate and disappear….Learn to harness the power of intention, and you can create anything you desire.”
Try out some “I am” powered -up intentions and watch and see what happens and unfolds in your year.
Now what about ‘Accountability?
Accountability helps. It helps with clarity, it helps you to measure and track your success and it helps you engage in the process. Research shows that those enrolled in weight loss program do a much better job of keeping off weight if they are given support. Two thirds of those who received support had kept their weight off 6 months following a weight loss program but only 25% of those who tried to ‘go it alone’ achieved that kind of success.
Where do you find accountability? Working with a coach helps tremendously. A coach can help you find clarity, engage you through each process and hold you accountable. The social support of a group program works tremendously – group members share obstacles, failures and successes and can hold each other accountable every day/week and or month. A coach that runs group programs (such as a private Facebook group) more than doubles your chance of success.
Intentions + Accountability and Support = SUCCESS
Working with a professional trained to assist and create awareness of your process is a great way to create new health habits!
Thanks so much for joining me here today; as a New Years gift, feel free to download your FREE Transition to Transformation booklet: Click here
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