How do YOU feel about New Year’s Resolutions?


It is that time of the year again time to create and implement our life-changing New Year Resolutions – ‘New Year, New Me!’ There are plenty of options as the promotions around the latest fit tea, detox, workout plan, diet, you name it is being advertised in full force. However, by mid-Feb ~80% of individuals will have failed to maintain or continue with their New Year Resolution. This stat is unwavering it is similar year after year and psychologists have found a number of reasons as to why, including lack of clarity, setting unrealistic expectations, to falling into the trap of the latest fad or product.


Now I don’t have a problem with New Year resolutions. In fact, the idea of trying to change oneself for the better I believe is part of human nature; it gives us purpose and meaning to our lives. We are continually seeking ways to grow and challenge ourselves, to be better than we were yesterday. Whether that is improving our fitness status or trying to read more books or develop new skills to get a promotion at work.


How can we improve our success rate? Only 20% of us are making it past mid-Feb – what are they doing that the rest of us aren’t? 


I think we need to do is stop looking at the New Year as being the end all be all defining moment. While having a New Year and starting with a fresh slate seems like a great idea I believe this creates this mentality of waiting for the perfect moment to try and make a change. I hear it all the time, 


Well I screwed up this year, I’ll just say F*ck it and wait till the New Year.’ 


Similarly, waiting until the start of the month or waiting till Monday to restart, etc. It drives the ‘All or Nothing mentality’, that we as human beings can somehow be perfect and if we aren’t 100% on point we are a failure and we need to keep trying over and over until we are. Makes a lot of sense, right? 


Wasn’t Einstein’s definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?


Instead – we need to shift a continuous growth mindset. Throughout the year looking to make small incremental changes over time. When the motivation comes to us, get started that day…  that moment. Don’t wait for the beginning of the week or the month. The process of change and growth is a journey. Nothing happens overnight! 


Nonetheless, the above is something we can work on over the coming year. For now, it is the start of 2020 and many of you are looking to use this clean slate to make some changes and kick the year off right. SO here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you are making your resolutions: 

  1. Think small – start with small, specific, and behaviour based goals. Don’t overhaul your entire life. IE) I want to go for a walk at work for 10 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. 

  2. Realistic – what is something you can realistically incorporate into your life? If you haven’t been going to the gym after work and you suddenly plan to stop for 90 minutes 3x/week on your way home, is this really going to be feasible? 

  3. F*CK Perfection; FOCUS on Consistency – Let go of perfection and the ‘All-or-nothing mentality’. You will fail. No human is perfect. Consistency is the KEY!

  4. Find what works for you. Just because your friend or coworker did X plan doesn’t mean it will work for you. Ask yourself does this align with my values and is this something I can actually sustain long term?

  5. If some product or plan sounds too good to be true it probably is. Making a shift toward permanent change takes time and will not happen in 30 days. 

  6. Sustainability – What are you going to be able to sustain for life? This is a journey not a 30-day challenge and you revert to old habits. Whatever change you make has to be sustainable. 

  7. If someone is preaching that their way is the ONLY WAY – stay away. Not sure why we need to polarize EVERYTHING in our society but there are a million ways to approach change and again it is about finding what works for you. 

  8. Avoid the “Truthy” – if something sounds like it is the ‘Truth’ or someone has put in ‘evidence-based’ or ‘the research says’, it doesn’t automatically make it correct or valid. Even if it is coming from a medical professional. Unfortunately, a good chunk of IG or social media medical professionals either are trying to money by taking advantage of you or they lack the skills and knowledge to actually interpret medical literature. 


So kick 2020 off the right way. Tell me – what is one small change you can start making TODAY?


Dr. Dan


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