Written by Ashley Dier | Academy of Lions Media Team | Toronto
On the first of January people, with good intentions, commit to change. I will workout more, eat healthier, cuss less, the resolutions differ but the outcome is often the same...failure. My friends, New Year's resolutions are bullshit.
As Tim Pychyl, a Carleton University professor of psychology put its "New Year's resolutions are rooted in culturally prescribed procrastination," and I couldn't agree more. What he means is, "we are culturally primed to procrastinate by making a resolution for a future date, instead of committing now", he recently said in a Toronto Star interview. Think about it, we acknowledge that something needs to change, like drinking more water, but we put it off days, weeks, even months into the future allowing for the initial desire for change to fizzle out resulting in a broken resolution. Procrastination.
THE STATS Length of time Canadians kept their New Year's Resolutions in 2011: 19% less than 24 hours, 15% one week, 52% one month, 19% one whole year (as compiled by the Toronto Star Library and published by the Toronto Star on Jan 1 2013)
New Year's resolutions...still bullshit. However, what are not a waste of time and a complete marketing ploy, are goals. Goals are like resolutions without the obsession over the start date. Goals give us drive and purpose and when achieved an incredible sense of accomplishment. I've found that a key to a successful goal is a commitment to paper and accountability. I'll do both right now, here are three of my health and fitness goals for 2016.
Pull Ups - An unassisted, strict pull-up. Hearing the phrase "women typically have weak upper bodies" really pisses me off and thankfully I have a crew of women in my life who shatter that phrase to pieces. There is something powerful knowing that I have the strength to do a pull up, I will get them in 2016.
Nutrition - I've been riding the sweets train for a minute now and I need to get off. Starting today my goal is to be more nutritionally aware. I want to ensure that I am getting the right amount of all the goodness that makes my body tick and work at its best. Eating correctly will help with my muscle repair, and generally make me less moody...you're welcome!
Mindfulness - In 2016 I will meditate more. Things in my head move a mile a minute sometimes, and they need to slow down. There are both physical and mental benefits to meditation that are only really available through regular practice. Even if only for a few minutes, I will meditate more starting today.
"Research" shows that it takes approximately 21 days of repetitive activity to form a habit..is there truth to the number 21, that I don't know. I do know however, that repetitive actively DOES form a habit. Acknowledging that an area in your life needs a little work and TLC is a difficult part, don't allow that drive to lose steam by waiting for an arbitrary date to set a resolution set a goal for yourself now, today. I'm all for the idea of a fresh start and a rebirth that the new year brings, but I'm all for setting goals in the present. Here's to a year of healthy mindfulness and pull-ups!