Finding Motivation, Changing Habits

At the beginning of the year, we always have these great intentions to be a better person.  If you’ve seen my columns over the Christmas break on Stuff or in print (If you missed it, its here), you’ll know that your chances of success are dismal.  Only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions and one quarter of people always fail at their resolutions year after year.

Yup.  I’ve tried them too and failed although in my years of personal training I’ve been an avid fan of the New Year’s Resolution – especially if it’s got something to do with fitness and weight loss as, inevitably it does.  After all, this is what this industry I’m in feeds off and a girl’s gotta live.

If you’ve got a goal to run a marathon, swim the Strait or do something else absolutely amazing, that is fantastic, but what’s going to make you stick with this?  Or have you already fallen off the wagon?  Don’t get too worried, because most people have given up by February too…

Don’t get me wrong sometimes a person can just really, really want to run that ultra-marathon and that’s enough to get them there.

Further to that, what happens after you’ve finished the event? Do you revert back to ‘normal’ and your usual habits? Or was there actually a bigger reason behind your goal, and did we fail to recognise that this was only a means to an end?  It’s become clear to me that for years I’ve missed the bigger picture.  It’s not actually about the goal you’ve set, but the reasons behind it that’s most important.

There is of course also the danger that the goal you’ve set (eg, the event you’ve chosen to enter) doesn’t actually get you to where you want to be (eg, to look or feel a certain way).  In this case, you’ve wasted your time and effort and possibly moved further away from what you’d actually like to achieve, simply because we were not clear on the reasons behind your decision.

So what I’d like to focus on not so much the tangible thing that you’d like to achieve (eg, weight loss, an event, or challenge) but the reasons behind it. If you can articulate what it is that drives you, we’ll be able to ensure the actions taken are the ones needed to get you there and you’ll have a greater chance of success.

If it’s a habit you would like a to change or a behaviour you’d like to start practicing, be clear on the why you want to do this.