So you set your goals for the year and you know what you need to do to get there. You’ve read about how to stick to your goals because you know that 92% of people fail with new years resolutions year after year. So why do you continue to sabotage yourself when it comes to achieving your health goals?
Consider these potential reasons:
Its hard to make new habits
We perform our old patterns so often, the cue-action-reward loops are so set in our brains, its comfortable, familiar and easy. It doesn’t take a lot of brain work to keep performing these. So to make new habits you need to engage your conscious brain and put some effort in establishing the new behaviour – this takes energy and thought and sometimes these can run low. Focus on practicing your new habits and over time it will get easier as your brain makes new neural connections and the old ones weaken with less use.
We don’t want to miss out
Often our goals seem to include doing something we like less and something we might not like more – less food, less alcohol, less fun, more exercise, more pain. Our brains know that we’re missing out on the stuff we enjoy just to get to our goals. It also knows when we get to our goals we’re still going to have to miss out on stuff we like to maintain where we got to. A shift in perspective from what you’re missing out on to what you’re gaining is needed to keep on top of this.
The goal doesn’t mean enough to us
Sometimes it might just be the goal just doesn’t resonate with you or you haven’t articulated clearly enough why you want it. So spend the time to get clear on what you want and why it matters to you.
Behavioural change is hard, but being aware of what’s tripping you up can help to make it easier.