Many of us find the transition from one year to the next can serve as an opportunity to reflect, reset and refocus and to set goals for growth in the new year. Along with that often comes many health and wellness-related goals.
Sadly, research shows that a significant proportion of New Year’s goals are abandoned by February. If you have already found yourself in this camp, you may be wondering what’s holding you back from making progress. Here are three key reasons why you aren’t meeting your New Year’s goals. As you read the tips below, take time to assess yourself to see if any of these factors are true for you.
You bite off more than you can chew
The transition into the new year is, for many, a magical time where your motivation is high and you are optimism — even idealistic — about the future. You are ready for change and ready to make this next year the best one yet. Although this feels great, it can often lead you to set too many or too large of goals. You set unrealistic expectations for yourself, and even if you did meet these goals, any notion of sustainability is out of the window. If your changes cannot be sustained, what’s the point in making them in the first place?
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You are making changes for someone else
Losing weight because your doctor wants you to? Exercising more because your spouse wants you to? Working on stress management because your boss asked you to? How many of your New Year’s resolutions are based on the wants and needs of somebody else? Now, you may be wanting those things too, but your main “why” for change is better off coming from you if you want lasting change. So, spend some time thinking about goals that are important to you, as well as why those goals may be important to you.
You didn’t address last year’s barriers
We all face a variety of barriers to our personal growth and development, whether they be
physical barriers or mindset barriers. Even though the transition from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1 can feel monumental, the reality is that for many of us, not much changes. We still face the same challenges that we battled in the past year. Perhaps you deal with a lack of time for meal planning or lack of energy for physical activity. If we don’t identify and address these barriers, we will continue to struggle with progress and growth with our goals for the new year.
Are you ready to give those New Year’s goals another try? Remember, keep your goals simple and realistic. Try to avoid the “all or nothing” mentality and instead focus on small changes that you can make time and time again. Focus on the changes that mean the most to you and not to someone else. And don’t fall under the impression that somehow last year’s problems sort themselves out on their own. Take an honest look at your barriers and challenges and develop a plan to tackle them.
If you’d like help starting your journey to a healthier you or setting and achieving your goals, schedule an appointment with one of Billings Clinic’s registered dietitians at 406-238-2500 or visit billingsclinic.com/nutrition. May 2022 be your year of small and consistent wins and lasting success.