How’s that New Year’s Resolution working for you?

Well, one week into the New Year and I already see evidence in the gym of people who made ‘being healthier’ part of their New Year’s resolution. I am always glad to see people do this, especially when it is couples because you need a strong support system in order to succeed.

I was making this observation with a guy that I have seen on and off all year. He said ‘I was one of them a year ago’, meaning, he too, made a resolution to lose weight and get in shape. Over the past year he has lost over 30 pounds while increasing muscle mass. I told him he is to be congratulated because he was one of the very few that actually succeed every year.

What makes people fail?

There are many factors that go into failing a New Year’s resolution that involves being healthier. I will go into one of those factors, Positive versus Negative support…

If there is one thing people are good at, it’s being negative. We are taught and programmed with that habit from the day we are born.

In his book “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself” by Shad Helmstetter, he says that by the time someone becomes an adult, they have heard ‘no’, ‘you can’t do that’, ‘you’re not good enough’ and other similar terms 148,000 times! That’s a lot of negative programming being done in your developmental years!

Watch, read or listen to the news. It is all negative. There are millions of great success stories and ‘feel good’ accomplishments but you rarely hear about them. Listen to talk radio whether it is political or sports related. Same thing, the conversation is dominated by the negative.

So it is no small wonder that whenever you go out to achieve or improve something, you encounter negative feedback or positive feedback laced with negativity which negates the positive, i.e. ‘that is good BUT…’

 So what do you do?

Choose your support group wisely. Choose who you tell your New Year’s resolutions to.

What happens when you are allergic to certain foods? You stay away from them, you don’t eat them. You are aware of the consequences. What happens when you have to choose to go somewhere and you have a choice of going through a high crime rate area or a safer route? You choose the safer route.

So why is it that when it comes to associating with people for support, we allow the negative ones in on your goal?

With any goal, build a support group that will give you positive and constructive feedback, not someone that will try to tear you down. You don’t tell the entire workplace what you are trying to accomplish, you tell only those that will help you accomplish it.

Negative people need not apply in your plans. Just like the two examples cited above, you have choices on which ones you allow in your inner circle.

Now there are times when you have no choice but to have negative people in on your plans. This is particularly true when it involves your immediate family like spouse or children. What then?

I have great success in ‘selling them’ on what you are trying to do and how they can be a positive influence on helping you achieve your goal. Communicate how everyone can benefit from all of this. Communicate how you can help them achieve the same goals or some other goal that they are trying to achieve.

Plant ‘positive seeds’ and nurture them by providing constant reinforcement. Reprogram how you think and more importantly, how you express yourself with others.

Stay away from the negative words like ‘no’ or ‘but’. Substitute them with ‘and’ or ‘or’, i.e. ‘It looks like you are headed in the right direction but…’ versus ‘it looks like you are headed in the right direction and it would really be amazing if…’. See how just a change of one word can turn a sentence from a negative to a positive? The great thing about communicating this way is that it opens up more honest dialogue and believe me, positivity can be contagious.

Most people want to be surrounded by positivity but most people can’t find it because it is such a rare animal!

Positivity for Good Health…

There have been many scientific studies that show having a positive outlook means living longer, stronger and having a more fulfilling life. On average, up to five years longer!

Those same studies also showed that people with more positive attitudes seem to exercise more. This makes me think there is a correlation between exercise and mental/spiritual well-being through the endorphins that are released when one does exercise.

Having the right attitude thwarts illnesses. If you keep thinking it is going to happen (negative thoughts) more than likely it will happen. It is a mindset.

People that are positive are more open to hear different opinions, try new things, and take risks. That’s because they don’t automatically see the negative in something but rather the ‘good’ that may come from it. You won’t know until you try it but you are willing to try it rather than saying NO from the onset!

So if you want to stick to a New Year resolution or just be happier and thus healthier, surround yourself with positivity, flush negativity down the toilet bowl and you will soon see that you can be…Fit Forlife!

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