You’re not going to wake up one day and be a different person. Be it Monday, be it 1st of January, be it 1st day of summer, be it your birthday. Plans or resolutions to start completely anew on a specific day – planning to do a million things differently from one single day – fail. 100% guaranteed.
It takes months or even years to form new habits. It takes months and probably years for these habits to become your lifestyle. And one day you WILL wake up and realise that you are a lot different than you were before, but not yesterday but rather months or years ago.
I have lived 4 decades and I’m sure I have made at least a 100 resolutions like “from tomorrow I will not eat any sweets” or “from tomorrow I will do 50 sit ups and 50 push ups every single day” or “from tomorrow I will not eat after 6pm” and so on and so on.
The reason people (me included) don’t stick with cabbage soup diets, running 5km every single day, cutting out entire food groups from their diet, making themselves exercise in the morning if they’re totally not morning people, etc. etc. etc. is that if you don’t ENJOY it, it will not become a long-term part of your life.
When it comes to exercise – find something that truly gives you a buzz and makes you smile (and don’t count the calories it burns). You can also have weight goals or athletic goals (run faster, lift more) but the enjoyment you get from what you do is the one thing that has most effect on whether you stick to working out or keep “falling off the wagon” on a regular basis.
When it comes to food – focus on adding and not on taking away. For example, it’s not fun to cut out sugar cold turkey. We have all tried and I’m sure we have ALL failed. Instead of thinking of all the good things you should not eat anymore, look for good things to eat, stuff that you enjoy and that are maybe sweetened with honey or coconut sugar or maple syrup, etc. Experiment and discover new tastes and new things. I can guarantee that as you focus on adding, the bad stuff that you’ve been eating slowly but naturally (without feeling like you’re punishing yourself) gets crowded out of your life.
I have written about both of these things many times before, have a read of these:
- Focus on adding, not taking away
- Accidental abs
- Warning: this post is about women and fitness but it includes swearing
- How I finally became a runner after several attempts in over a decade
- Love the way you sweat
- Starting to exercise – don’ t make weight loss your top goal
- On resolutions and habits and sweating with joy
I truly believe that if you first and foremost find a way to exercise that you enjoy and love, everything else – your weight, your eating, your self-confidence – will eventually fall into place.
Don’t force change, don’t punish yourself, don’t exercise to just burn off the cupcakes. Have fun with the way you get sweaty and…