Did you know that the last two weeks in January are when people are most likely to give up on their New Years fitness resolutions? There are MANY reasons why people "throw in the towel" and abandon the progress that they have made. We decided to break down 5 reasons people go off course and give tips on how to overcome them and get back on track.
Reason 5. Too Busy
We know it can be difficult to change up your routine and make time to exercise. People have jobs, kids, projects and new episodes of [insert Netflix series] to catch up on...you know who you are. Time is one of the biggest "limiting" factors when it comes to staying on track with a fitness goal. We decided to kick off this list with this reason because some of our other reasons below directly tie into why people "can't" seem to find time for their health.
Treat your health and wellness initiatives like any other priority. Block off time for a 20 minute run like you would for a work call. Only you know your schedule so when you're making it, make sure it's realistic that you will be able to accomplish what you need to in the allotted time. Even if you only have time to do a quick 15 minute at-home work out, that's better than nothing. If you're not into planning, this could be a great way to start. People often times don't realize how much more productive and how much stress they can avoid simply by creating a schedule.
Reason 4. Not Seeing Immediate Results
This is possibly the biggest reason people give up. For two or three weeks they work hard, stay on track, build a routine only to look in the mirror(or numbers on the scale) and are disappointed in what they see. Doubt starts creeping into their minds and they begin asking themselves "What's the point?". They feel like they are failing and begin making excuses to validate their perceived shortcomings until they are right back into the pattern that they committed to break from.
Set realistic expectations and focus on the "hidden progress". What is "hidden progress"? It's the progress that is not often talked about in fitness/beauty magazines. In short, it's not about the aesthetic benefits of being healthy but rather the internal benefits. Instead of focusing on how your body has changed or the numbers on the scale after two weeks of completely changing your lifestyle, think about how you're feeling overall. Chances are, you're feeling more energized throughout the day, your mind is clearer, you're sleeping better and your overall mood had improved. The internal improvements are much more noticeable early on so FOCUS ON THOSE. If you keep at it and stay consistent, in time your body will look as good on the outside as you feel on the inside.
Reason 3. They Don't Have a Plan
It's no secret that consistency builds sustainable habits. Part of being consistent is making a plan that you can stick to. Start with your goals in mind and work backwards to determine the necessary steps to reach your goals. Decide how much time you can realistically set aside for exercise, meal prep, meditation and/or any other means to improve your health and plan it out. It's a lot easier to skip a day when you're just going day to day. PLAN IT OUT.
Reason 2. One Slip Up=Failure
So you missed a workout...it's not the end of the world. Unfortunately, many people treat a single slip-up as a complete failure. Instead of looking at it for what it is, they build it up in their mind and dwell on it. They retreat into the excuse-making world where the phrases "I can't" and "I'll try again next year." start creeping into their minds and before they know it...poof, they've spent $400 on a gym membership that was used for two weeks.
Don't be so hard on yourself! At the same time, hold yourself accountable. It's okay to slip up and miss a workout or deviate from your meal plan. Look at it for what it is and move on. Don't dwell on it. Recognize that you slipped-up and use tomorrow to correct it and get back on track. The best thing you can do is stick to the plan and do your best to stay on track.
Reason 1. Not In It For Themselves
If you're making a life change, it has to be FOR YOU. It is very difficult to maintain a habit to please another person/people. In some cases, it can also be downright harmful. Resentment can build and the pressure to not let someone down can cause added stress. Stress causes cortisol, AKA the stress hormone to be released and may be responsible for holding onto unwanted fat in the belly and thighs.
Before you start on any fitness/health journey, take a good look within and ask yourself "why?". What is motivating you? What do you want your life/body to look like? What would improved health mean for your quality of life? Ask yourself these questions and you will find that the best version of yourself will almost always positively affect those around you.
These a just a few of the many reasons why people give up on their New Years fitness resolutions. If any of these apply to you, please consider our advice and get back on track. It's never a bad time to restart your health and wellness journey. Best of luck and be on the lookout for more helpful articles in 2021!