Written by our instructor, Kristy
According to an article by Forbes, 8% of those that make a New Year’s resolution WILL succeed at achieving that resolution. Only 8%…WHAT???
At the beginning of the year, our intentions of making changes are at their highest they will be all year…or at least until the last week of the year when we are facing 2020. For gyms, fitness studios, trainers, etc. the first week in January is their Christmas…for good reason!!
According to a Nielsen survey, the 2 top New Year’s resolutions for 2016 in the US had to do with health and fitness…staying fit/healthy made up 36% of the resolutions while losing weight was 32% of the resolutions. Based off this, nearly 70% of New Year’s resolutions are dealing with our health…makes sense, right?
Taking care of ourselves should be a no-brainer! No one, at least no one I know, desires to be overweight, feel bad, and be a high risk for heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
So, why are we an overweight society and heart disease is the number one killer in America if so many of us are making resolutions to be healthier? We know our health is important…that’s why we make the resolution to begin with! But, something somewhere along the way is tripping us up and causing us to fail…unless you are in the 8% that is!
I have thought a lot about that 8% statistic and then thought what has kept me from being in that 8% at times throughout my life. In my case, there were times I didn’t just fail, I went the complete opposite direction of what I had intended to do!
What I came up with is that my biggest hurdle in joining that 8% all boiled down to my MINDSET!!
What Is Mindset?
Mindset is often defined as an attitude, disposition or mood. In reality, mindset is usually what we tell ourselves about what we can or cannot do. In terms of our fitness goals, it is usually what we tell ourselves we can’t do….”I can’t work out because I am too busy, I am too tired, I am too stressed or don’t have the energy” and on and on! Often times, we tell ourselves we don’t have the knowledge to begin a fitness program or where to start. All of these things we tell ourselves can cause our mind to be the biggest hurdle to overcome. So how do you shift your mindset? There are multiple things that can factor into changing what we tell ourselves. From learning how to relax and manage stress to better sleep habits and improving our posture…these may seem simple or unrelated but can go a long way in changing what we tell ourselves.
Mind Over Matter
For me, the desire to shift my mindset started when I decided I was no longer content with doing nothing. The dissatisfaction with my weight and buying larger sized clothes had my mind geared up and ready to go! However, starting a new routine, figuring out what to do at a gym, nutrition…those can all be overwhelming and intimidating. Even though I had knowledge on these things it is still making a lifestyle change which is never easy. Then there was that fear of failure that sat in the back of my mind and always caused hesitation. That fear was the never-ending battle that kept my mind focusing on what I thought I couldn’t do or what I thought I didn’t know how to do which let my fear win!
The Never-Ending Battle
Giving up left me feeling guilty…and usually feeling worse about myself because I was unhappy with my weight and now, I failed at doing something about it. So, I am back to complaining about it, then trying to convince myself I can do something, and that I can stick with something. Being unhappy with the scale but being able to push past that uncomfortableness of a change in mindset was a constant battle.
Breaking The Cycle
My path to breaking this cycle certainly has not been easy and definitely had some setbacks along the way.
To change my mindset, I had to get out of my own way! I could no longer focus on what I thought I couldn’t do which meant I had to change my approach. My resolution to get healthy, lose weight, eat better…all good in theory but for me they were too vague. The vagueness of these types of resolutions is what set me up to become overwhelmed on where to even start.
It took some time to figure this one out but for me it came down to setting personal goals…short term and long term. And for these goals to work they had to be SMART goals…Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time based.
When setting your goals…start small. Losing 20 lbs. seemed like a lot at times which lead to frustration so for me it was easier to break it up into smaller goals. Starting with 5 lbs. in a month seemed much easier and once achieved I had a success to be proud of sooner. It’s ok to have a 1 month, 2, 3, and 6-month goal.
In addition to setting personal goals, this is also where things like learning how to relax and manage stress to better sleep habits and improving my posture assisted in shifting my mindset. But what exactly does all of that mean and how does it play into an overall healthy mental and physical lifestyle? To answer that I had to first understand what role each of these played in the process as well as the importance of each one.
- Defined as: Methods or activities that help a person attain a state of increased calmness reducing the levels of anxiety, stress or anger
- Importance: Relaxation encourages a healthy mind and body. Relaxation increases blood flow to the muscles thereby providing more energy, better metabolism and improved memory
Sleep quality and duration
- Defined as: How well you sleep. Falling asleep in 30 minutes or less, waking up nor more than once per night and being awake for 20 minutes or less after initially falling asleep.
- Importance: Aspects of our brain function are linked to quality of sleep. Focus, productivity and mood are all impacted by our sleep
- Defined as: The position in which we hold our body when standing or sitting.
- Importance: How we carry ourselves can impact the way others see us, but more importantly can impact the way we see ourselves. Standing tall with good posture can increase our feelings of confidence.
Am I There Yet?
Am I in the 8% that succeed with their resolutions? Maybe, maybe not…truth is I no longer even think about resolutions because it is not the right mindset for me to be successful. I still have things I want to accomplish…decrease body fat another 5%, do a pull up, run a 5K just to name a few. However, those are not a vague resolution but a specific goal I am going after. Whether it’s the beginning, middle or end of year, I am a work in progress…striving to be a little better version of myself than I was the day before.
Nielsen Survey: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2016/a-healthy-salute-to-new-years-resolutions.html