With Christmas far behind us now, it’s time to draw up the New Year’s Resolutions lists. Each year, during the same period, each of us begins to think about what the new year will look like. For most of us, it’s work, work, work, and more work, but there’s also room for improvement and lifestyle changes.
However, we all know that New Year’s Resolutions look far more dashing and doable on paper than in real life. Why? Because we set out unrealistic goals. If we took a closer look at our New Year’s Resolutions for the last three years, each of them would be identically goal-wise: lose weight, hit the gym more often, lay off fatty foods, become a vegan, or give up red meat.
In other words, our New Year’s Resolutions sound more like prison sentences rather than life-improvement choices. Even the researchers tend to believe the same thing. A new study conducted by a team of scientists from the Baylor College of Medicine revealed that less than 8 percent of people actually stick with their New Year’s Resolutions.
Dr. Roberta Anding, a nutritionist, and the project’s lead researchers, stated that the key to successful long-term lifestyle changes lies in moderation. The senior researcher believes that New Year’s resolutions are bound to fails because they sound so final.
In other words, our resolutions for the year to come are unrealistic because we assign them short deadlines – starting with the first of January, I will not eat sugary treats, or I will eat more vegetables per day.
Anding added that when the brain is tricked into believing that the ‘fairytale’ is over, you will automatically have higher expectations for the outcome of your plans. Thus, if something happens along the way, like a minor setback, you will become disappointed, and give up on your plans altogether.
So what can we do? Dr. Roberta Anding said that instead of setting restrictive goals for the New Year, we should perform ‘resets’ – which basically are the ‘lighter’ version of the traditional New Year’s Resolution, but more realistic and doable.
The scientist argued that the key to making significant and long-lasting lifestyle changes is in moderation and ‘allowing yourself room for the little things that matter.’ What does this mean? For example, instead of saying something like ‘I will not eat red meat in the next year,’ you could try committing yourself to something like ‘I will eat red meat once or twice per week, but I will also eat more vegetables.’
Anding declared that a New Year’s Resolution based on moderation is more likely to produce life-changing results than a restrictive one.
Image source: Wikipedia
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