Why We Don’t Stick To Our New Year’s Resolutions…
There is a profound degree of social pressure connected to how we should live or how we should look which accompanies us throughout life.
This pressure first comes from our families and peers and becomes deeply reinforced by media influences, such as advertising or celebrity culture. It is extremely difficult to resist because it surrounds us every day. In terms of dieting for instance, we may make decisions about changing our lifestyle to allow us to ‘fit in’ with what constitutes the norm, more often than for health reasons. Choices made solely on the former may become short-lived because we are more concerned with what others might say than the genuine benefits we could reap from appropriate changes to our diet and lifestyle, including exercise.
Also worth noting is our predisposition for instant gratification which makes us prone to quitting if we don’t experience instant effects. Although we know that getting fit is a process, we might abandon the idea altogether, having noticed no obvious, drastic changes to our body in a short amount of time. This can provoke a rebellion where we return to former habits, relieved to slip back into our identity prior to the newly acquired lifestyle. We view long term, positive changes as ‘difficult’, rather than ‘challenging’ which may make the rewards linked with the desired effect far from our reach. Exploring our psychological barriers can help make our goals become more obtainable. With the help of an objective, supportive and non-judgemental therapist, it may become easier to feel empowered and embrace challenges with a new outlook. Patience and commitment is the key to maintaining a healthy body, as well as a healthy mind.