Every year I love taking time to reflect on the year that has passed and set goals for the one ahead. You may be thinking “no one ever reaches their New Year’s resolutions”, but research actually shows people are ten times more likely to reach their goals if they set them at the start of the year*.
The most common New Year’s resolution people set is…you guessed it…
To lose weight**
But there’s a fly in the ointment of weight loss goals. Namely, weight loss approaches have a 97% failure rate in the long-term and, depending on the approach, lead to disordered eating, mental health issues, and weight gain over time. This conundrum inevitably sets you up to struggle – it’s like you have been digging yourself into a into a hole of weight worries, but are only being offered an array of different shovels (e.g., keto, intermittent fasting, high protein-low carb) as solutions.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
And we don’t want you to do the same thing over and over again in 2019.
I hate seeing people sabotage themselves before they even get started, so I wanted to give you some ideas that can help if you would like to lose weight this year.
Last year, wanting to understand my online community better, I set up a welcome email when new members joined my newsletter asking 3 questions about their experiences. Let me share some of their responses and my insights on them as I think they can really help you start the year off on the right foot.
Question 1: What is your main struggle?
(The one would you most like to be free from.)
- “To stop eating what I know is wrong even as I eat it.” Here’s a video on bridging the gap between what you know and what you do.
- “I don’t buy nice clothes or have a social life because I can’t stand what I look like”. Here’s part 1, 2, & 3 of my interview with on embracing body positivity with the Founder of the Body Image Movement, Taryn Brumfitt.
- “My ongoing issue with binging. Anxiety and boredom are my triggers.” Here are some videos to help you overcome emotional eating and bored eating.
- “I don’t put myself as a priority”. Here’s a video on feeling okay to put yourself first and a video on how to actually do it!
- “Exercise!!! And motivation in getting going with it.” Here’s a blog to help you look forward to exercising and a video help you get out the door!
- “I’m terrified of losing control and putting a huge amount of weight back on.”
I’m going to give my thoughts on this one in a second because all of these problems relate to the second question…
Question 2: What are your goals?
(This time next year, what would you want to be different?)
- “Lose approximately 15-18kg. Over the past 5 years I have put on this weight and can’t seem to get rid of it.”
- “To have been able to continually losing weight (without the usual self-destruction) & to be able to look at myself in the mirror without flinching!”
- “Next year I want to be a bit lighter”.
- “This time next year I want to be thinner, in less pain, and eating to live instead of living to eat”.
- “I would like to be able to convince myself I am able to lose weight and keep it off”.
Do we notice a theme here? I went back and counted***, and of the 420 responses I received to this email this year, 372 of them were weight focused – that’s 89%! As focusing on weight loss tends to create the types of struggles we talked about in Question 1 rather than cure them, this is a big problem.
Compare these to the responses I received when I asked our Psychology of Eating, Movement, Weight, and Body-Image Support Group members about their goals:
- “Success – health, home and of course budget!”
- “Treating my body with respect and love”
- “I’m going to reclaim my physical and mental health.”
- “Trying some inner peace!”
- “Continuing my health & fitness adventure. Loving & respecting myself more.”
- “Being open to life … Let’s see where the fair winds take me this year – (letting go of my inner control freak)”
- “I really want/need to improve my health, therefore I want to commit to improving my nutrition, movement and time management.”
Notice a difference? If so, it’s because you are hearing from people who have completely let go of diets and are playing a new game. A game that sidesteps the sabotage of the scales and sets you up for success. Taking the focus off weight loss and focusing on holistic health and happiness works so much better in the long-term, and is actually is a lot easier (once you wrap your head around it)! If you want to start shifting your focus, see this video to help you let go of the scales and this blog to help you set some more holistic goals (this is the exact goal setting process my clients and I use every year and we LOVE it!)
Question 3: What is your biggest question?
(Something you can’t quite figure out?)
- “How do I stay on track when my life is full of never ending stresses?”
- “Why do I not have enough belief in myself to attain my weight loss?”
- “How can I trust myself intuitively when I have never learnt this?”
- “How the hell do I change my way of thinking?”
These questions are complex to answer. And to be honest – when you consider the time, effort, and cost involved – not everyone really wants to do what it takes to answer them. The best answer I have is to simply draw a line in the sand. To make a firm decision to let go of what hasn’t worked and commit to a new path of embracing what can. And if you do really want to change, the best way to answer all of your questions, let go of your struggles for good, and reach your goals for the year is to join me for the upcoming Twelve Month Transformation where I support you to create lasting changes in a structured yet tailored way throughout the entire year. I spent over ten years and put my mind, heart and soul into making a program that is scientifically proven to work for people just like you, and I want to help you actually achieve your goals and dreams. Let’s make this year you try something different and get different results.
Find out about the Twelve Month Transformation!
*Researchers think the changing year is naturally a time of reflection and that the tradition of setting intentions at this time may help with motivation, self-belief, and social support.
**Followed by doing more exercise, quitting smoking and saving money.
***Yes, I am a weirdo and don’t have anything better to do with my time!