Here's a trivia for you: What time of the year can you have the gym all to yourself? I can assure you that it’s not the first couple months of the new year.
Walking into a gym during the last couple of months of the year is like walking into an abandoned building. Everyone is taking time off for the holiday season. No one is thinking of losing weight. Not with all the good food and the dinner invitations.
Then comes January, and the gyms suddenly become as crowded as the malls. They’re full of the New Years’ resolution crowd. It is not the best time of the year for regular gym goers. Oftentimes, there’s a long wait before you can use your favorite exercise equipment.
While the onslaught of people may disrupt the flow for regular gym goers, this disruption will not last. Studies show that over 70% of people break their weight loss resolutions within a month or two.
Here are 5 reasons why people’s weight loss resolutions fail, and they revert back to their usual habits.
1. No Support System
You take the Rambo style approach and try to do it alone. Those lonely trips to the gym, eventually feel like a tedious obligation. You start dragging your feet until the option of quitting becomes more attractive.
This is when having a partner comes in handy. They can bring that much needed encouragement and support. You may skip workouts or cheat on your meals when no one else knows about your goals but you. No one’s watching.
No one will know if you fail. You’re accountable to nobody. But when you have a partner, the chances that you’ll stick to the program increases. You wouldn’t want to let your partner down, and you will certainly avoid being left behind.
Shared goals are easier to achieve, and are more enjoyable. The task becomes less of a chore. That is one of the major reasons Cross-fit workouts and group exercise classes are so popular and well attended. There is the social aspect. It’s easier when there are others to encourage and inspire you.
2. No Faith in Themselves
They admire the guy in the infomercial who lost 30 pounds. They want to be like him. But, being overweight has become an accepted part of their self-image, and they do not really believe that they can achieve their ideal physique.
They’ve tried all the different diets and workout programs, but nothing positive has ever been achieved by their efforts. These negative affirmations are a large part of why they continuously fail.
They start a program without the determination needed to succeed. Don’t let this be you. Make a choice to change and condition your mind to stick with that choice. Let failure not be an option. If a program you’re on is not working, change it.
Find one that works for you. You need to set a goal, commit to the process, and take the right action. You need to believe that you can make it happen whatever stands in the way.
3. Ineffective Goal-Setting Habits
Getting fit and losing weight are NOT goals - they are visions. A goal needs to be actionable, measurable and attainable - with a deadline. An example of a good goal would be, “To lose 10 pounds in 2 months.” That is a goal that when achieved, brings you closer to your vision.
- It is actionable since you know exactly what you need to do.
- It is measurable since you can step on your scale to determine your weight each week.
- It is attainable since it is possible for you to lose 1 to 2 pounds every week.
- It has a deadline since you have 2 months in which to achieve it.
When you accomplish your goal, set another goal using the same principles. Visions are good to have, but to turn them into reality, you need to establish an effective goal-setting habit. It gives you something to focus on, and the small wins keep you moving forward.
4. Unrealistic Expectations
If you look at yourself in the mirror every day, it’s easy to get discouraged. You want to see the results of your efforts NOW. After all the stress you put your body through when you work-out, you want to see those flabs firming and the muscles taking their place.
Having unrealistic expectations will make you quit too soon. Resist the urge to start checking for results days or a week after starting your workout. Be reasonable and know that all good things take time. You didn’t gain that weight in a day, and you will not lose it in a day. Be patient.
Instead, gauge your results from your own individual assessments, which you can do by using a scale and measuring tape to measure your waist, arm and leg. Also, be on the lookout for the compliments you will get from others. It may not be obvious to you, and the results may not be as dramatic as you expect – but your body is definitely improving.
5. Weight Loss Efforts Are Not Sustainable
It’s not about making drastic changes overnight like cutting out all sweets and only eating salads. Sweeping changes like those will backfire. If you don’t really enjoy salads, you will eventually revert to your old eating habits.
It’s all about making changes that you can manage overtime. It’s about developing a healthier lifestyle that you enjoy. Depriving yourself of certain foods drastically will affect your mood – and therefore, your determination to see it through.
Instead, work on things like portion control or increasing your water intake. These small changes can be incorporated into your current lifestyle – until it becomes a part of it. They are sustainable and doable and doesn’t feel like self-flagellation.
Remember, the Great Wall of China was not built in a day. Eventually you can make other sustainable changes that will help you see the desired changes. Every year, many well-meaning people have ‘Losing Weight’ at the top of their New Year’s Resolutions list. Unfortunately, many of them will not accomplish it because of these five reasons.
Let your year be a year of accomplishment. Take note of these reasons and make the changes necessary to ensure that next year, ‘Losing Weight’ will not be a part of your New Year’s Resolution again.
What is one thing you are planning on doing differently this year to get in better shape? Let us know in the comment section below.