It’s the first month of the New Year. We all know that means it’s time to set resolutions, new goals and start a brand new life. Right? As you may have guessed, “lose weight”, hails at the top of the resolution chart year after year. What you may not know is that some statistics have shown that 1 in 3 people will ditch their vows by the end of January and over 70% of people give up before ever reaching their goal. Pretty dismal, huh? However, all is not lost! Generally an optimist, I believe wherever there’s a problem, there’s usually a solution waiting to be found. Let’s start with the problem.
3 REASONS MOST DIETS FAIL
SETTING THE WRONG GOAL
Setting the right goal can be the first and at times the only difference between success and failure. Motivation to improve is a wonderful basic principle of human nature. High ideals and big dreams have been the wind under the sails of many accomplished leaders, entertainers and athletes we admire. Likewise, everyday people are reaching for the moon and landing among the stars by setting the right goals and meeting them one at a time. Set a big goal and break it down into bite-sized pieces (pun intended). For example:
- Identify a problem area of eating
- Make a recommendation to yourself by setting a specific, realistic approach to solving that problem in a way that you can clearly measure your achievements
- Observe and monitor results regularly
- Be consistent and persistent
- Identify the next problem and cycle through steps 1-4
So, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds, then start with how to lose 1 pound. Maybe, there’s a problem with drinking soft drinks? So, setting a goal to drink 8 ounces of water in place of a soft drink, tea or juice each day of the week enjoying one 8-ounce beverage only one day of the week. Use an App such as Water Drink Reminder or Water Alert to monitor your progress daily.
DRASTIC TIMES DO NOT CALL FOR DRASTIC MEASURES
I suggest that dieting, in general, is drastic and often ends in poor results and disappointments. Crash dieting, indeed, is another fine example of the age-old wisdom of Aesop’s Fable, The Tortoise and The Hare. In this case, the sprinter doesn’t win the race, the marathoner reigns victorious! Rather than running full speed ahead and fizzing out a mile into the race, try making smaller adjustments over time at a steady pace and enjoying the long range success of the tortoise. This route encourages more permanent change and longer lasting results, with a fraction of the “pain” of dieting. Losing 10 pounds in 2016 is far greater success than losing 10 pounds in January and gaining 15 pounds by August. Remember the mantra of the tortoise- Slow but steady wins the race.
LACK OF PREPARATION
Preparation is very different from planning. All too often we list things out but skip right into “GO MODE” based on the plan, often leaving out the critical step of preparation. Preparation is the bridge to success.
Once the plan is set, ask what do I need to prepare for success? In the example above, will you need to remove soft drinks and other beverages from your pantry or refrigerator? Will you need to buy a bright, inviting water bottle, and keep it on your counter or desk? Perhaps, getting a gallon of water and marking it to be sure you are drinking a certain amount by the close of the day? Keep bottled water in your car to eliminate the urge to quench your thirst at the gas station or drive thru line.
As for New Year’s resolutions, well, they have their place. After all, what better time than the present to kick off your quest for success. These principles can be applied to other areas of life, whether career upgrades or home improvement projects. Be gentle but firm with yourself. Undoing old habits can prove to be far more challenging than creating new ones. And remember, if you mess up, no worries! You get a fresh new start every single day. Jump back on track right away.