Today, January 17th is technically THE DAY that most New Year’s health resolutions fail.
Do you know where your health resolutions are?
I applaud my friends and clients for trying out new stuff with their nutrition and exercise in the New Year…or anytime for that matter! There’s no better time to make a change or resolution than when you imagine having a clean slate and a better version of yourself in the future!
Sometimes though, changes are implemented all at once, and people go too fast (fill in the blank diet or exercise regime), too intensely, injure themselves, and then end up back on the couch, worse off than when they started.
Real change is a process, a journey, versus what we imagine health resolutions can be.
The “30-day solution” (all-or-nothing) plans can work in the short term. But what happens when the 30 days are over? Like going on a long road trip, real change is a journey.
Have you learned how to exercise in a way that builds your body up rather than breaks it down? Did you learn healthy habits that you can sustain? Can you manage your exercise, nutrition or stress when you are travelling or when life gets in the way?
I bet that the answer is a resounding “no.”
Most people abandon their resolutions by January 17.
That’s 17 days! What!?
Like Cinderella’s story about an overnight transformation, we imagine the changes we want to make to be like that.
But in reality, change is more like the fable about “The Tortoise and The Hare”…slow and steady wins the race.
Instead of an all-or-nothing approach, how about developing an attitude toward health resolutions that incorporate play (movement), or nutrition, or stress management into your day, month, and year … for life? Not all at once, of course, but one at a time so that it sticks.
Things become different when you can find a place of consistency.
By focusing on ONE change at a time, a simple 1% improvement a day, you can quite naturally make better choices more often. What ONE change can you make?
Can you take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator, for instance, as part of your daily (play) activity?
As part of a healthier eating strategy, can you replace your sugary afternoon snack with an apple?
To help manage stress, can you take five deep breaths as you are falling asleep?
Slowly, with consistent effort, the shedding of your old practices happens and lasting, permanent change starts to take hold – for your lifetime – not just your New Years Resolution:)
So…today and beyond, be like the tortoise when you are making a habit change…and keep playing like the hare!
Are you looking for more healthy habit-based motivation in your life?
OR… grab a copy of my practical back-to-basics guide on how to embrace exercise as play here – The Play Book: How To Get In The Habit Of Good Health.