Time Magazine recently shared the most commonly broken New Year’s resolutions. Can you guess what the first item on the list was? Losing weight. According to the article, 60% of gym memberships go unused and gym attendance is usually back to normal by mid-February.
If your goal is to lose weight in 2012, keep the faith. It can be done. Start by being realistic in what you want to achieve. Significant weight loss takes time, and many undermine their goals by thinking they can lose a large amount of weight in a small amount of time. Instead, focus on what is achievable. Sure, it’s great to have a long-term goal but short-term, flexible goals have been shown to be effective.
Make sure you have a support system in place to encourage you on the road to fitness. Several studies suggest that friends and family can play a big part in weight loss success. A survey from researchers at Ohio State University concluded that men are most motivated by their friends to work out, where as girls are more likely to be positively swayed by family members. Another study out of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia found that participants with the highest level of support from friends and family shed the most amount of weight.
Adding exercise into your daily routine and focusing on the foods you eat means you will be changing some daily habits. Altering or creating habits are not easy things to do. Many books and articles have commented that changing habits, or adding a new one, takes around 21-28 days. Phillippa Lally and colleagues from University College London conducted a study, which found that forming new habits actually took closer to 66 days, but that the amount of time correlated to how challenging the new habit was. Understanding that changing your behavior will take time and repetition is important. Give your goal time to take root.
You can achieve to your New Year’s goal. Enjoy the rush of starting to work at your goal, get friends and family involved, set and reset your goals as you go, and remember to give your body and mind time to adjust to the change. Good luck!