Have you started writing down a list of potential New Year’s resolutions yet? If you have, then you should tear that page out right now, burn it and stop wasting your time. Why? Because New Year’s resolutions are bull$*(%. Seriously. Less than half of people who make New Year’s resolutions achieve them and only 40% stick to their resolutions for six months.
One of the primary reasons people fail so hard when it comes to resolutions is that they fail to realize they are only one small part of the process of change. Any worthwhile goal will not be achieved so easily. Let’s take fitness as an example. You don’t get in better shape just because you write “Lose Weight” on a piece of paper. You need to be committed to put in the hard work. If not, you’re going to backslide once the excitement and momentum of the new year have worn off.
To avoid falling into the age-old trap of empty resolutions, try some of these scientific ways to cultivate positive behaviors:
- Have big picture goals and small, daily benchmarks at the same time.
- Be specific. Instead of saying, “I should work out more,” have a plan that dictates something measurable like, “Today, I’ll bike 5 miles.”
- Take steps to change your environment and your schedule. If you want to avoid snacking, eliminate the snack foods at home and pack a healthy lunch. Change your daily routine so you have time for working out. Spend less time on activities that don’t add value to your day.
- Understand your weak spots. Do your best to understand yourself and the ways you might cave in. Having a clear picture of this will give you mental strength during those moments where you might just say “screw it.”
- Establish some accountability. In this way, you can have the support of another human being that won’t let you off the hook. Left to your own devices, it’s easier to skip the exercise.
Another thing you want to do is remind yourself why you’re putting in the work. Here are just a few of the benefits of getting and staying more active:
Workouts create more energy in your life.
Don’t despair if you feel lethargic at the onset. Once you start working out, you’ll be amazed at how much more energy you’ll find you have throughout the day.
Workouts release endorphins.
Much in the way other pleasure-inducing activities release the brain’s happy chemicals, exercise will give you a guilt-free dose of the good stuff without the hangover.
Working out will bring sexy back.
You might not see the results you’re looking for after a week or even a month, but you’re on your way to a healthier, better you. Looking and feeling good will give you a more optimistic perspective, and that is its own kind of sexy.
Working out is revealing.
Living an active lifestyle and pursuing your health goals will show you what you’re made of. You’ll find yourself more resilient and more capable than you initially thought, and you will be an example to others. You’ll be a Wahooligan.
Wahooligans don’t just work out because the calendar changed, or because it’s a cool thing to do. They do it because they crave the challenge, the rush and the pain that come as part and parcel of achieving their fitness goals. Moreover, it’s not just about getting great abs or beating your average time. It’s about always sweating, pedaling and running towards the very best version of yourself.