Do new year's resolutions work?


It's nearing the end of January. I noticed that during the first weeks of 2020, the gym I go to is more crowded than usual. Even on days when there were usually fewer people, there's more bodies in the space.

I can guess that most of the new faces are there for their New Year's resolution. It's common for people to have weight loss as their goal for the year to come. Actually, there is a trend in gyms that people surge in during the new year, but the crowd will dwindle by the next month.

I think that there's a special energy during New Year's that inspires change. The energy is even more pronounced now that we're beginning the 2020's, 'a new decade'. However, studies have shown that 80% of new year's resolutions fail by February.

In my own weight loss journey, I admit that I was also a resolutioner. There have been many new year's, and many resolutions made and failed. It was only last year that I managed to sustain the path towards my goal. It wasn't until May 2019 when I decided to join a gym, though.

In any change we want to have in our lives, be it weight loss or anything else, I believe that the time to start is now. Any profound change we want to make should not wait for tomorrow, because that ideal tomorrow never comes. It shouldn't be tied to a date in the calendar.

Also, I realized that the journey to health and fitness does not end once I reach a goal weight. I embraced that this is a lifestyle change that I have to commit to. Just because I lost weight now does not mean I can now eat unhealthy or stop exercising.

So how do we make New Year's resolutions that we can sustain throughout the year, especially when it comes to weight loss? Here are 3 tips from Business Insider:

Be specific. It's better to state a resolution in specific terms, than general ones. "Lose 10 pounds in 2 months," is a more specific and doable goal than just "Exercise more" and "Eat healthier." For myself, I set a goal of losing 1 pound per week. I also set fitness goals like going to the gym at least 4 times a week, and prepare my lunches for work ahead of time.

Frame goals in positive terms than negative ones. The sentence, "Stop eating too much sugar," only makes you think of sweets. Instead of negative language, say something like "I will choose to eat healthier snacks like fruits."

Your goals should be for yourself, not anybody else or external circumstances. Some people to lose weight for a wedding, or even for 'revenge' against their bullies or an ex. So what happens after the event, or the revenge thing they realized was actually pointless? Lose weight for yourself, not anybody else, not your friends, not your family, not to impress others. It's great to have support from others, but in the end you only have yourself to rely on. You should keep going, even if no one's there to push you.

New Year's resolutions are great, and is often a good starting point for goals and changes you want to make. But also, you can start any day. You can start right at this moment.

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