Did you know that 92% of people fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions each year?
We’ve all been there. We’ve all made these extravagant New Year’s resolutions when we are feeling down on ourselves – to cut out chocolate, quit alcohol or go to the gym five days a week for the rest of the year. We’ve also all been there when our motivation runs thin, life gets in the way and it all becomes too hard.
New Year’s resolutions tend to fall into a phenomenon that I like to call the “all-or-nothing” mentality. This mentality is a black-and-white state of mind where you are either going gung-ho with your goals (like in the first week of January) or you have totally and utterly lost the plot.
Ask yourself these questions: do you “try to be good” all week only to blow out on the weekend? Do you feel guilty for dipping into the chocolate draw, again? Do you continually bash yourself up for having one-too-many wines? Is eating one slice of pizza or cake enough to ruin your diet and make you think “stuff it, I’ll just start again tomorrow/Monday/on the first of January”?
If any of these statements resonate with you, you are most likely experiencing the “all-or-nothing” mentality. So, what’s the solution?
Realistic & Sustainable Health Habits
The word ‘realistic’ realises that we are only human, and were born to be imperfect, so why not USE this trait, rather than constantly fighting this losing battle to perfectionism? Realistic health habits incorporate and celebrate ALL the foods and drinks we love – whether it’s pasta, salad or ice cream – rather than demonising and shaming the ‘unhealthy’ ones.
Being realistic is about recognising what we truly want to achieve for our health, and WHY. It is about distinguishing what we ARE and what we ARE NOT willing to give up, in order to achieve that goal. The most important part, and perhaps the most difficult, is finding the fine balance between the two.
‘Sustainable habits’ is about taking the control back from our willpower and transient motivation and placing it back into our own hands. It is about breaking away from the ‘all-or-nothing’ mentality. It is about using a slow and steady approach to changing those behaviours that no longer serve us (e.g. eating ‘clean’ all day, just to cave into the chips and wine at night when no one is looking – and don’t worry, you’re not alone!)
How do you know if your current habits are sustainable? If you cannot see yourself eating and exercising the way you currently are in 20 years’ time, this is not a sustainable lifestyle for you. Non-sustainable living is setting yourself up to fail, at some point in time.
Non-sustainable living is feeding our anxiety and restrictive behaviours around food; it’s the embodiment of the ‘all-or-nothing’ mentality, causing us to restrict and binge and yo-yo through the latest fad diet; it’s relying on willpower to “just get through the day without indulging in ‘naughty’ or ‘bad’ foods”…
Is this how you would like your kids to live? To “just get through” their days? If the answer is no, why are you doing this to yourself? If the answer is no, it is time to make a change.
WHERE DO I START?