We've survived another Christmas and cleaned up after all the festivities. With family gone and all the presents opened, it's time to look ahead to the new year and start thinking about our resolutions.
Often at the top of most people's list of goals for the new year is improved wellness and physical fitness. Feeling and looking our very best is something we all strive for each year, making it an area of our life that undoubtedly deserves our utmost dedication.
When you're falling short on your health goals, it inevitably ends up trickling down and affecting all other areas of your life, keeping you from reaching your other goals as well.
But for some reason, it seems that each year we find ourselves falling a bit behind on our New Year's health resolutions. Why is it that vibrant health always seems to be just out of our reach?
Studies have found that most people largely underestimate the amount of time it will take them to achieve a goal or complete a task, often by 20% or more.
This phenomenon is referred to as the "planning fallacy" in psychology and was coined in 1977 by psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amod Tversky.
These psychologists found that this issue stems from two psychological tendencies:
So how can we overcome this "planning fallacy" and crush our health goals in the year ahead, without the usual disappointments?
1. CONSULT WITH A TRUSTED SOURCE
Have a trusted friend, family member, or co-worker estimate the amount of time you'll need to achieve the goal for you. This is bound to give you a more realistic goal-setting perspective when reaching out for advice from loved ones who know you best. These trusted sources can be crucial in helping set you up for success.
2. TRY GETTING AN OUTSIDE PERSPECTIVE
If there's a specific goal you have in mind for 2020, try observing someone, perhaps a role model or online personality, who has already achieved that goal. Take notes of their journey and if possible, ask them for some tips. Often, taking the focus off of yourself and gaining an outside perspective can put things into more realistic terms.
3. LEARN FROM PAST MISTAKES AND ADJUST ACCORDINGLY
If you find yourself writing down the same goal year after year, such as exercising more or losing weight, it might be time to observe past mistakes and see how you can learn from them.
Have you set an unrealistic goal perhaps, or noticed that over-restricting food has caused you to binge and give up on weight loss goals, for example? You can be your own biggest teacher when it comes to taking an honest look at where you've fallen short in previous years.
4. WORK ON STRENGTHENING YOUR WILLPOWER
When it comes to tackling goals, strengthening willpower is often the one practice that really sets people apart. It takes about 21 days (3 weeks) for your brain to program a new healthy habit, and about 2 months for that behavior to become automatic. Start small and you'll be amazed at how your willpower will bend to help you achieve your goals!
5. ALLOW TIME FOR SETBACKS & DELAYS
The planning fallacy says that "wishful thinking" is deeply ingrained in our psyche. This means that we have to consciously make up for this shortcoming by planning in some extra time for setbacks and delays, and not letting them derail our motivation.
For instance, if you plan to lose 2 pounds per month in 2020, try scheduling in a few months where you may fall off the bandwagon and even gain a few pounds. It's a totally normal part of the process!
6. SET MILESTONES TO CHECK IN ON YOUR GOALS
Once you have the knowledge that you are likely to misjudge the amount of time you need to achieve your goals, it becomes even more important to set milestones to check in on your progress.
Setting a goal and not revisiting your progress until next New Year's Eve is a recipe for disaster. Try scheduling a "Self Care Sunday" every 3 months or so where you check in with yourself and your goals to assess how you're doing.
ARE YOU GEARING UP TO CRUSH YOUR HEALTH GOALS IN 2020? WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! JOIN OUR Primal Harvest Tribe COMMUNITY ON FACEBOOK AND LET US KNOW YOUR PLANS FOR THE NEW YEAR.
IT'S ABOUT YOU. IT'S ABOUT YOUR HEALTH. IT'S ABOUT RECONNECTING.