2018 is here. The year of new possibilities. The year of new beliefs. The year of new practices. A year of New You. Well, let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater! You have created many amazing things in your life up to now. You don’t get to be nearing 60 years old without some serious accomplishments.
BUT….. today’s modern world does not make it easy to get healthy and stay there. The combination of our own desire for comfort and a well-deserved rest or treat has made us overweight and struggling with conflicting desire for comfort and for health.
We start each new year with great excitement and belief in our ability to change. I love this and believe it is a fantastic boost to our motivation. Daniel Pink, in his new book, When, confirms that the human brain likes markers for new beginnings and it is a good idea to start the new year, new month, new quarter, new week to start something new!
There are three possible ways to approach a new year with new weight-loss goals, and goals for getting in shape 2018.
First, to create the details of exactly how we are going to lose weight in great detail. You will cut out all deserts for 30 days, even cut a meal or two every other day. You are going to exercise 5 days a week and get to bed by 9pm and drink 10 glasses of water each day. All great ideas and great aspirations.
BUT with a heavy hand and great expectations, you end up planning a million overwhelming new ways you will be different this year.
The second option, is to create generalized goal with nothing measurable. I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to get more exercise. I’m going to eat better. No plan. No measurements.
With a light hand and great expectations, we don’t really plan anything specific to do and are likely to fail with each temptation of stuffed pizza, and homemade German chocolate cake!
Both these approaches can be problematic because when we assume we have to know exactly HOW to do something before we have achieve it, when we come against our first misstep- or our first failure, we give up totally. Our brain thinks the way we picked isn’t working, so fuhgeddaboudit!
I read that when it comes to new year resolutions, 20 years olds will succeed only 37.8% of the time and if you are over 50 your success rate drops to 16.3.
A third way is to create a comprehensive, holistic, living, breathing and measurable Weight-Loss Plan. This plan takes into consideration what we know about how humans make decisions; how human emotions distract us from achieving our goals. A plan that is ready for the “Just have one bite.” or “I have to celebrate with one more drink” or the slice that turns our commitment on its head.
A plan that includes understanding what motivates you is crucial! What I know is that getting motivated with a positive emotion is scientifically proven to work while using a negative emotion actually depletes your energy and will power. I also know that our brains do better with a focus or a guideline. Apply these to creating a plan.
A plan that includes why you want to lose weight is essential. Your why is critical to making the choice to get your reward for the long-term satisfaction and accomplishment of fitting into your yoga pants or hiking with the grand kids vs. the short term immediate reward of cookie in mouth!
Be wary of your trickster brain. It is designed to seek pleasure, avoid pain and take the least amount of effort. If that has been your weight loss plan, it is clear why you have failed.
In 2018 we have to tolerate discomfort, seek difficulties and expend massive conscious action.
But not without adding rewards in the form of natural pleasures that come from accomplishment, self-care and purpose.
Let’s do this ladies. 2018 is our year.
Freedom to be healthy, vibrant and happy.