Here are some reasons why.

If you are like most Americans, the New Year’s motivation and healthy behaviors have taken aback by now to older, more deeply ingrained bad habits. The question is: What do you do? Do you simply throw in the towel and leave the next go at it for December? Or, do you look at the reasons why you may have failed, work to fight against them, and push on? I recommend the latter.  Here are the factors that may have stood in your way:

  1. You Started Too Aggressively

It’s understandable when motivation is high that you’ll want to jump in with two feet on ALL your goals; however, studies show that taking a step back may actually be better. Here’s what to do instead. Take a look at your goals and choose ONE per month to focus on. That goal could be to eat less sugar, move more, or perhaps the number of vegetables you want to consume every day. Regardless of what it is, that’s all you focus on for 30 days, and when you master that, you move onto something else.  You can keep long term goals in place (like run a half marathon or lose 20 pounds by summer) but your day-to-day goals should be more specific and limited.

  1. You Underestimated the Importance of Your Social Circle

Last month, I talked about the huge factor that family, friends, and environment goes into your success in goals. Therefore, if you didn’t make a grand announcement when you started your goals last month, then now is the time. Tell your spouse, friends, coworkers, etc. all about what you want to achieve and ask that they help to support you in the next few months in any way they can. That means, no invitations for ice cream, keeping cookies and chips out of the house, and for sure never telling you, “Oh, it’s just one bite!”

  1. You Had Unrealistic Weight Loss Goals

So many of my patients come to me with a huge goal of weight loss in an unrealistic time frame. These are often the same patients that tell me that their weight simply “crept up” throughout the years. If it took years to gain, it won’t take just six weeks to lose. Set a realistic time frame for meeting the goal (like 15 pounds in three months), and also, set a realistic weight loss goal. For example, if your dream is to be 120 pounds, but you have never in your life been that weight, then perhaps you focus on a higher, more attainable weight. Finally, break down your weight loss goals by week. For example, this week my plan is to lose 0.5 pounds.

  1. You Swapped Bad Dietary Habits for Fake Foods

If the weight loss world is new to you, then you may think that swapping real sugar for fake sugar and real meals for processed, ready-to-eat diet meals is the way to go. It’s not. Throughout your weight loss journey, the most important thing you can do is to continue to focus on quality, not quantity. That means real food with quality ingredients throughout.

  1. You Started on January 1

January is a time when gyms hound you and social media makes you feel bad that your diet and body are not perfect. A lot of it dies down by February. Make today a new day, a new start, and a new perspective without being clouded by constant messaging.

It’s not too late! There is still plenty of time in 2019 to achieve the goals you made in January!

Written by Kristin Kirkpatrick