Fantastic article about making and keeping your New Years Resolutions in the NY Times by John Tierney on Sunday.
Click Here to Read It=>Be It Resolved
I’m going to give you some of the most relevant points from the article so you can put them straight into action.
If you’ve set a resolution and you’ve still not broken it here’s some good news.
1) You’re much more likely to make improvements than someone who has not made a formal commitment,
2)If you make it through January you have a good chance of making it much longer,
3)You can boost your chances of success by employing as few strategies and tools to help you.
And the bad news is yes a lot of people will not be able to keep their resolutions, but only because they rely on their willpower alone(this doesn’t work, and there are real world reasons)
Tierney reports- “They’ll fail because they’ll eventually run out of willpower, which social scientists no longer regard as simply a metaphor. They’ve recently reported that willpower is a real form of mental energy, powered by glucose in the bloodstream, which is used up as you exert self-control.
The result is “ego depletion,” as this state of mental fatigue was named by Roy F. Baumeister, a social psychologist at Florida State University. He and many of his colleagues have concluded that the way to keep a New Year’s resolution is to anticipate the limits of your willpower.
One of their newest studies, published last month in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, tracked people’s reactions to temptations throughout the day. The study, led by Wilhelm Hofmann of the University of Chicago, showed that the people with the best self-control, paradoxically, are the ones who use their willpower less often. Instead of fending off one urge after another, these people set up their lives to minimize temptations. They play offense, not defense, using their willpower in advance so that they avoid crises, conserve their energy and outsource as much self-control as they can.”
The article continues with a story of how a Doug Tietelbaum a man very successful in business and utterly self-disciplined- yet could not stop himself from hitting a weight of 375 pounds.
After Doug had a gastric sleeve inserted and he began exercising with a local trainer. When a sudden business venture forces Mr. Tietelbum to move to Las Vegas for a 4 month stay living out of his hotel.
Instead of risking the lure of 24 hour room service and hoping he could just use will-power to exercise he put a plan together. the plan not only worked at keeping him from backsliding he lost 50lbs over the 4 month period.
His plan had these components to help him succeed.
1) Precommit-Take action on your plan-for example- by cleaning out your kitchen and stocking up on healthy food. And also by telling or emailing your goals to your friends or posting it on facebook.
3) Keep Track-Weekly(the article recommends daily) weigh- ins are essential to moving forward and keeping your goals at the front of your mind.
4) Don’t Overreact to a Lapse- fall of the horse?- the rides not over- get back on. Don’t let slip ups(like an ice cream cone), that we all have, stop you in your tracks.
Get up brush yourself off and keep moving toward your goal.
5) Tomorrow is another taste-latest diet research revealed if you’re presented with temptation(for example) a bowl of M&Ms and you tell yourself you can have them soon just not tonight. You have a much higher success rate than those who attempt to swear off eating M&M’s permanently.
Just knowing that you can get them some time in the future helps with self-control in the present.
6) Reward Often-If you attempt to use willpower only to master your habits. It becomes a long grim thankless trudge. Reward yourself at milestones- drop 5lbs buy some new shoes, waistline shrinks time to splurge in new clothes.
Don’t forget the advantage of having a weekly cheat meal too reward a week of consistency.
There you have 6 of the best tactics for sticking with your resolutions this New Year.
P.s. You’ll find everyone of these 6 tactics used in the Body Balance Challenge. In less than 8 weeks you’ll radically drop fat and reshape your body with this simple nutrition coaching program. Click here=> Body Balance Challenge