What New Year’s Resolutions are you going to make? Losing weight, being slimmer, not eating chocolate or joining a gym. Are these the same New Year’s Resolutions you’ve made in previous years? If the answer is yes - then stop and don’t make them this year. Allow this pressure to be removed, stop giving yourself a hard time and be fair to yourself. I encourage you NOT to make any New Year’s resolutions because generally they don’t work. In fact, they probably only last a couple of weeks at the most. How do you feel when the resolution hasn’t lasted? Probably that you’ve failed and this feeling is one of the things that often drives us to overeat. So, don’t set yourself up to fail.
New Year’s Resolutions often don’t work because they begin with "should", for example. "I should lose weight" or "I should join a gym". A "should" is what other people expect of us, which results in pressure we put on ourselves to conform. "Should" makes us worry and try to accomplish too much. The pressure from family, friends and society to lose weight is immense and it’s this pressure that leaves us feeling that we "should" do something about it. As this message comes from outside sources, there isn’t the same level of commitment from you and then, when you don’t manage to stick to your resolutions, you probably feel as if you’ve failed.
Restrictive dieting sets you up to fail and invariably New Year’s resolutions do the same. So, if you put the two together, the feeling of failure is intensified. When weight loss is a "should" for you, it will make you do too much too quickly. The changes required are huge and are inevitably difficult to maintain. Be gentle and loving with yourself this year and don’t put yourself through this. Rather than deciding to lose weight and pulling out all the stops, approach losing weight as something to do a little at a time, but regularly. Treat it as something to continue with. Do what feels right for you, feels achievable and you feel ready for, e.g. you may feel ready to stop the habit of putting sugar in your tea and coffee. Discover ways to be successful with your weight loss and to achieve your desires. Tune into what you really want, decide on some action steps and start taking the ones that feel right for you today.
You can commit to making healthy changes in your life. One healthy change I really encourage you to consider is to get some support. Find someone who is totally on your side and who will be there and encourage you at all times. This may be a friend, a coach or a group of like-minded people. I suggest choosing people who are positive and will cheer you on, particularly at times when you’re finding it hard to keep going. Ask for their support and be specific about what you need. For example, "Would you support me in eating more healthily by reminding me every day of all the healthy things I’ve done." We often forget how well we’re doing, the success we’ve achieved and concentrate instead on the things we haven’t done so well. Focus on your success and the support you’re getting as you progress.
Make a list of what you need. Be specific and keep it positive, i.e. what you want to have, not what you don’t want. Now, ask yourself "Who do I know who would support me with this?" Go and ask them.
We often try to do things on our own and it’s so much more difficult. You don’t need to go it alone. Having someone to support you makes a huge difference to the changes you need to make to achieve permanent weight loss.