I've heard that over 90% of dieters fail and that resolutions don't work. I want to start the New Year on a good note- what should I do instead?"
It's true...most (around 80%) of New Years Resolutions fail by February 1.
Yikes! I know!
After many years in the health & fitness industry I know pretty much every reason why this occurs. Let's break it down...
Too much, too soon:
Trying to exercise intensely for over an hour for 6 days a week when you haven't moved much all year? Yup, you're setting yourself up to fail. Once you're so sore that you can't get off the couch it's easy to feel defeated.
Embarking on a diet that's restrictive and makes you feel like a zombie? Sorry, that's not the way to lifelong results. Even if you are promised "fast results" and sold a bill of goods by a fitness influencer- chances are you'll be among the 95% of dieters who fail by the end of the month (or week, or day).
If you are coming from a place of hatred when it comes to who you are right now...you will fail, no matter what you do. No one has ever hated themselves into improving their life! Think about it, how are you going to make positive change when you come from a negative place?
Now...Let's talk about what to do instead!
1. Give Diet Culture the Boot:
Diet Culture assigns high value and worth to thinness and smaller bodies. It's a result of fatphobia, racism and oppression. It harms everyone, especially those in larger bodies and people with brown or Black skin. It can manifest in discrimination at work, mistreatment at the doctor's office and bullying. Dieting is a set of behaviors and a world view. To unravel the deep roots of this toxic system education is the key to empowerment! To get started go here to read a series of articles and scientific studies.
Read more: Diet Data
2. One Step At A Time:
When I work with new clients we gradually ramp up their fitness routines- especially if they've been on an exercise hiatus. Starting small might seem counterintuitive, but I've found great success with clients using this way of planning. Why? When you begin with smaller, achievable goals you tend to stick to them because they are manageable. For example, once you accomplish 2 days a week it's much easier to fit in 3 days.
100% of my clients are able to stick to exercising at least 3 days a week after we work together- it's not magic, it's all about sustainable change!
3. Positive Motivation:
The key to long-term success is beginning to like yourself RIGHT NOW. Yup- you have to let go of the "before/after" fantasy that you'll like yourself and your life more when you change your body. I know, this isn't the easiest thing to do. Start with "baby steps"- monitor your self-talk and gently re-frame the negativity you're sending yourself. Turn "you look terrible- get it together!" to "you're trying your best, you are doing better everyday". It might feel corny or strange at first, but guess what? The more you practice the more organic these new affirmations will feel.
For an extra positivity boost journal about your new affirmations or say them in the mirror!
4. Get in Community:
People who are aligned with like-minded individuals are more likely to succeed. Whether you connect with a buddy who is on a similar path or you connect with a coach or group to help you, community is key.
Looking for fitness advice, guidance & coaching?
STRONG@Home- Diet-Free Fitness Community
About the Author
Lily lives in the Bay Area of California with her husband. She loves to lift heavy, watch vintage movies and cheer on her fellow warrior queens!