The Psychology Of Fitness

Mindsets, Body Types and Everything In Between
Top 10 Ways to Keep Your Fitness Resolutions #1 – Know How Time Effects Your Decisions

Top 10 Ways to Keep Your Fitness Resolutions #1 – Know How Time Effects Your Decisions

With the New Year’s just 10 days away, I will be putting up a new post over the next 10 days that highlight 10 research-backed ways to keep your New Year’s Resolutions in 2012.  If you’re signed up to the mailing list you will be getting all 10 in a pdf over the next couple of days.

Every year millions of people make New Year’s Resolutions.  Sadly over 90% of people won’t keep those resolutions in the long-term, with more than a third of individuals not making it to March with their resolutions.  This year you can choose to be different.  If you’ve failed in the past to keep the resolution of either “losing weight” or “start exercising” then these 10 strategies (backed by research) can help you improve your odds of sticking to that resolution once and for all.

# 1 – Know How Time Effects Your Decisions
Have you ever wondered why we’re so bad at sticking to New Year’s Resolutions?  Me too.  The best answer that I’ve seen put forth is how our mindsets change in relation to time.

For example, say you were offered two free tickets and hotel accommodations to Hawaii for June of next year, would you take it?  Unless you hate Hawaii, you most likely will.  Why is this?  Because you think of the “whys” behind taking the ticket.  You think of all of the things you can do in Hawaii, you think of the nice weather and how fun it could be.  In other words, when you think about things that are “far away” in future, you think of the reasons why you want them (your desires).  In making resolutions, we are often caught only thinking of our “whys.”  We think of how good it would feel to lose weight, feel better, have more energy, etc.  The issue comes, not with the desire for those ends, but instead the “how to” add those things into your life.  This is how time skews our thinking.

Let’s go back to the Hawaii trip.  This time you’re offered the two free tickets and hotel accommodations, but you have to decide to take the trip by tomorrow at 6 am.  Will you still take the tickets?  Some of you will, some of you might not.  What has changed?  When things are urgent or in the near future, we typically forego thinking about the “whys” and instead focus on the “how-to’s.”  We focus on how we’re going to implement those things that we want and whether or not those plans are feasible.  Nothing may have changed from the desire end, but the issue comes with how will you implement those plans.

This is what happens with making resolutions.  We focus on the whys while typically losing sight of the how-to’s.

Your to do
1 – Don’t get rid of the reasons for your resolution – they’re your friends.  Instead write them down and use them for the moments when you’re particularly low on motivation.  When you’re low on motivation, remind yourself of those reasons.

2 – Take some time to figure out how to implement those desires into actions that you can add into your life.  More about this later in the article.

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