THE BLOG

Why Resolutions (Like Diets) Don't Work

02/01/2015 16:12 GMT | Updated 02/03/2015 10:59 GMT

How you feeling this morning?

So are you ready to face all that 2015 has to throw at you, or are you still nursing a hangover and waiting instead to start your new years resolutions on Monday?

What's it gonna be this year?

Giving up booze/smoking/sugar (delete as appropriate)

Losing at least 2 stone/getting back into last summers jeans

Reading, travelling, generally doing more exciting stuff

Spending less

Buying more

Pah

How long do you think you will keep it up for?

Well apparently 30% of NYRs are forgotten before January is out and most are forgotten by Valentines...what a depressing thought hey? because then you have to wait another 10 months to go through the whole rigmarole again next year.

It's a bit like how when you are on a diet and it all goes pear-shaped, but its OK because you can start again come Monday...we all love a start again Monday right?

NO WRONG!!!!

So come on, why is it that resolutions don't last?

Well lets look at what it actually means

Resolution - a firm decision to do or not to do something: "she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more" or the quality of being determined or resolute: "he handled the last British actions of the war with resolution"

The thing is for many overweight individuals it doesn't matter how many firm decisions you make, a multitude of other factors often get in the way. OK so that kinda sounds like an excuse right? Eat your heart out Katie Hopkins, but its true.

But more interesting in my opinion is the word resolve, especially when used as a verb

Resolve - To settle or find a solution to (a problem or contentious matter): "the firm aims to resolve problems within 30 days"

Because lets face it weightloss, smoking, achieving more from life generally...well these are all contentious issues in our lives, issues that unfortunately for many of us stick with us for years meaning that each time we reset those resolutions we doubt our resolve less and less each time...so forget about the ethos of YOLO (you only live once) or the one that many of us get wrapped up in these days FOMO (fear of missing out) many of us get to December 31st with an attitude of HWGA (here we go again...I know its a bit of a crap acronym)

Often the solutions needed to solve our complex issues, are themselves complex and can not be summed up in a "right thats it, for 2015 I am not....blah blah blah" statement.

So what is the solution then?

Well I don't make resolutions, instead I set BIG FAT STUPID goals throughout the year, goals supported by MASSIVE milestones, often things which complement each other and assist in pushing me in the general diretion fo where I want to go. I set them sporadically through the year, whenever I feel inspired to do so, and whenever the opportunity arises...so for example, in 2014 I set the following goals...

Run the Brighton Marathon just 14 months after giving birth (tick)

Publish a series of ebooks about running (tick)

Launch a range of Too Fat to Run merchandise (tick)

Do a Tough Mudder, billed as the worlds toughest obstacle course (tick)

Feature in a range of high profile media outlets (tick - Daily Mail, Huffington Post Live, Today Show, Cosmo, Marathon Talk, Sky News....I could go on)

Launch the worlds first online running club (The Clubhouse) for plus sized women (about to launch in a few weeks so tick)

The point is if I had set the resolution in January of losing weight, or running more or being happier much of this would be out of my control, or at least influenced by other factors...and then what? I'd feel like a failure that's what.

So personally I would have liked to have travelled more this year always a bit of a goal for me, but finances and time restraints meant I couldn't (at all sob sob) but hey I spoke live on US TV, went viral in Serbia and stayed overnight in hotels in Gloucstershire & Southend for races so who am I to complain? Besides who knows what next year will hold?

How about this?

Ever been on a crazy diet which you proudly announce to everyone at the start only to fail dramatically and then feel like a right mug? Telling yourself you will never make that mistake again, and will forever more diet in private instead...well NYRs are kind of the same. We all have that annoying friend that will remind you of your lack of resolve,

So much for giving up booze hey? or I thought you were on a diet?

Now this is not to say that I don't think you should share your goals publicly...because being accountable is important and if nothing else it helps you to remain focussed, and get support from the people that matter...problem with the goals you set each and every January 1st is that everyone, including you (sometimes) are just waiting for the day that your resolve is resolved and normal life can resume until the following year. There is just too much pressure and not enough substance in terms of your goal setting.

If you must make a resolution make a new life resolution (like giving up dieting and self loathing forever) or a new day resolution (like eating more greens), or an hourly one (smiling more)... but please understand the implications of that specific commitment and look at the likelihood of you sticking with it.

Whatever you decide, have an amazing 2015...take each day at a time, and think BIG....life is too short for teeny weeny ambitions.

HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS!!!