The Six New Year’s Resolution Mistakes You’re Making
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Around 50% of us will make a New Year’s resolution this year but only 10% of us will achieve our goals. Here are some of the mistakes you could be making:
Mistake no. 1 – You make general New Year’s resolutions rather than specific ones.
So you want to lose weight and eat healthier this year. That’s great and all but not having a clear and specific goal or target often leads to failure.
Start out with a general goal but break it down into smaller goals that you can commit to.
Specify your goals and how you plan to do them. Give yourself a number you can reach for. Try and aim for 15 pounds before the year’s end, go to the gym at least 3 times a week or have at least one vegan or vegetarian meal in a day.
Mistake no. 2 – Your goals are too unrealistic or difficult.
According to Psychology Today, goals are better when they fall in the “Goldilocks situation” which means that goals are “just right” – they’re not too lofty and difficult that you give up easily or too easy that you aren’t challenged by them.
Mistake no. 3 – You deprive yourself.
One of the resolutions that people make this year is to cut back on their sugar intake. Cutting back is a great idea! The average American already consumes 17 teaspoons daily (almost 3 times the recommended daily amount). While it’s healthy to cut back on sugar, it’s not wise to completely deprive yourself of it. Our bodies are so used to the high amounts of sugar that cutting it out drastically can be a shock to our systems. What happens when you deprive yourself is that your body begins to crave it and you go into a withdrawal of sorts. By depriving ourselves of a food that we used to love and enjoy, we end up binging and eating more to make up for that craving.
Instead of depriving yourself, try to limit your sugar intake to just 6 teaspoons daily, adjust portion sizes, switch to healthier sweeteners, or make healthier alternatives of your favorite foods.
Another great way to cut sugar is to stop drinking cola altogether. Just one 12-ounce can has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar! Even if that’s the only thing you manage this year, it’s already a step in the right direction. Not only will you cut your sugar intake, but you’ll have better sleep, better dental health, improved energy, reduced risk for diabetes, improved heart health, and many more benefits!
Mistake no. 4 – You give up too easily.
A mistake or a slip up shouldn’t derail you from your goals this year. The key to that is accepting that you are not perfect and a mistake is just a minor bump in the road. The best mindset to approach your resolution is that all of this is a process and a journey. There will be mistakes and challenges along the way and you will fall off the wagon. Don’t be hard on yourself, accept it and carry on. And in case you fall off the wagon, you can follow these tips to get yourself back on track.
Mistake no. 5 – You don’t address the emotional issues sabotaging your goals.
It can be difficult to make a lifestyle change if you haven’t made the emotional change. For most of us, emotional eating is at the very root of our weight issues. And sometimes what drives that emotional eating is depression. Our psychosocial health is equally as important as our physiological health.
If you believe you have depression or emotional eating problems, try and seek help from a professional. On the other hand, there are ways you can do on your own to stop emotional eating such as practicing mindful eating, avoiding triggers and substituting mindless eating for healthier habits.
Mistake no. 6 – You don’t get the support you need.
Your goals are a lot easier to meet if you have the support of friends and loved ones. You need cheerleaders by your side to keep you in the right path. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from loved ones. They’ll not only lend a helping hand but you can even inspire them to go on their own fitness journey. Whether it’s joining Weight Watchers or having a fitness buddy, having someone to cheer you on makes a world of difference especially when the challenges come.
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Only 10% of New Year's Resolution makers end up fulfilling their resolutions by year’s end. Here are some mistakes you need to know so you don't end up making them:
Mistake no. 1 - Having goals that are too broad and general. Be specific about what you want to achieve by year’s end. If you want to lose weight, then put a definite number you can aim for. Start out with a general goal and then break it down to specific smaller goals that you can commit to.
Mistake no. 2 - Having goals that are too unrealistic. The best goals are the ones that are “just right” - they’re not too difficult that you give up midway or too easy that they don’t challenge you. Seek to find a goal that works for you.
Mistake no. 3 - Deprivation. The problem with deprivation is that we tend to overcompensate for what we crave. In turn, we tend to overeating. Instead of completely depriving yourself of sweets, go for healthier alternatives with fewer grams of sugar and calories.
Mistake no. 4 - Giving up easily. Even if you fall off the wagon on the second day, don’t give up. Get back on track and start again.
Mistake no. 5 - Failing to address mental health issues. Often times what drives overeating and weight gain are mental health issues. You could be an emotional eater. Talk to someone you trust or get help from a mental health professional.
Mistake no. 6 - Not getting support from friends and loved ones. Your goals are easier met if you surround yourself with people who’ll support and encourage you along the way.
"Ten New Year’s Resolution Mistakes That Sabotage Success" - Psychology Today, january 1, 2014
"6 Common Resolution-Making Mistakes to Avoid" - MyFitnessPal, December 26, 2018
"Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms and How to Deal With Them" - Sweet Defeat, May 8, 2018
"Will I Lose Weight If I Stop Drinking Soda?" - Very Well Fit, September 26, 2018