It starts right around Halloween - the leftover and sale candy is too tempting to resist. Then you get two weeks of break and thanksgiving parties start, then Christmas comes a few weeks after, and just when you finish your leftovers, New years celebrations hit. Weeks of spreading holiday cheer, baked goods, warming comfort foods and festivities gives our body a seemingly limitless opportunity to overeat, with no break to recover.
That means months of overeating, inactivity and the infamous holiday weight gain. Then, come January 1, we resolve to get back on track. We might spend weeks trying to undo the damage we’ve done, then giving in to regular routine — a self-perpetuating cycle.
Instead, what if we resolved to resist those temptations and avoid that cycle this year? Good news: It’s easier than it may appear. If we start our resolutions earlier — say, today — and make them more reasonable, it wouldn’t be such a futile exercise.Whether you’re hoping to improve your eating habits, improve your blood pressure or glucose, or start exercising regularly, making a resolution now versus waiting for the ball to drop on December 31 will likely help you meet your goal in a less stressful way, and with more realistic and lasting results.Here are a few great reasons to get a head start on your resolution:
While nearly half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, only 9% report feeling successful in achieving them. Out of those individuals, 76% are weight-related or self improvement-related. Over 40% of resolutions are broken after just one month of starting. The odds are stacked against the success of new Year’s resolutions working, so get a head start instead!
With 41% of Americans making New Year’s resolutions, that means on January 2, everyone will be more focused on their own resolutions, and probably won’t care too much about helping you keep yours. If you start a month early, though, you’ll have plenty of resources to tap into before other people get stressed about their own goals and objectives.
Any accountability partner you find now will be more legit than a December 31st buddy, who might be on board, two glasses of champagne in, but good luck getting them to run with you on January 1. With around half of resolution-setters dropping off the radar after two months, finding someone in November or December to start running with you regularly means he or she is also likely a lot more serious about it, not just setting an arbitrary resolution.
Making your resolutions when a fresh calendar is blank and shiny and everyone around you is planning sweeping life changes, means they’re less likely to be realistic — which means they’re less likely to be achievable. By making a resolution or setting a goal on your own, you’re less likely to buy into the hype — and more likely to pick a goal that’s actually right for you.
The worst time to hit a gym or join a training group is January 1, when everyone has the same idea to start their resolution to get fit. In December, trainers have much more free time since their clients leave oftentimes leave for the holidays, so it’s a great opportunity to get into the gym and get set up before the January rush hits. Also, once you have an idea of the gear you want for your fitness goals, getting in on Black Friday and end of season holiday sales means all that exercise gear is cheaper.
The problem with starting a resolution — especially fitness, diet or health related — on January 1 is that it lets you overindulge, skip workouts in favor of parties, sip cocktails instead of water and overeat cookies until January. If you’ve already started your resolution on December 1, then you’re more likely to eat healthier or stick to your regular workout schedule. You’re setting up for a great holiday season, and your goal won’t need to be losing the 10 pounds you gained.
I can't stress this enough. Start now. You'll feel contently smug on New Year’s Eve as you get an extra snack while everyone else feels guilty about it. The feeling of already getting ahead before anyone else has even started is priceless. Be careful not to brag.Ask your Unified Care team if you want help setting some goals.
Happy New Year!