It’s no surprise that when Jan. 1 comes around gym membership’s increase, health food stores experience a rise in sales and budgets are created.
Every year millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Some may be original while others may even be repeats from years past. Although the resolutions are made with good intent, results are not always seen as quickly as some would like.
Junior psychology major Connor Buchanan thinks it is interesting that people choose Jan. 1 to make life-changing resolutions.
“It is the most overindulgent time of year. People are spending excess amounts of money, eating lots of good food, and not working out because it’s ‘too cold,’” he said.
“It’s like accelerating a car to 100 mph and expecting it to be able to stop on a dime. You just can’t expect such a sudden paradigm shift.”
Bad habits are formed over months, even years, and often lead to a psychological connection within the body.
Habitual activities like smoking, over-eating, and nail biting create neural patterns in the brain that become part of a daily routine like breathing or blinking.
Junior nursing major Kelsey Anderson recognizes that habits can be influenced by our environment and surroundings which makes changing something that has become a part of life much more difficult to change.
“The motivation to change has to be greater than the temptation to fall back into old habits,” she said.
exercise sports science adjunct faculty, thinks that people have a tendency to see black and white, all or nothing, which is not a healthy environment for resolutions.
“People simply need to be honest with themselves and set goals that are within reach in order to avoid disappointment,” she said. “The mistake people make is to do it all at once, a massive overload; this approach gets quite overwhelming.”
Although breaking these habits can be a painful task, will power, determination and reasonable goals can help turn an old year’s resolution into a new year’s resolution.
Oliver challenges people to remember that transitioning into a healthy lifestyle isn’t always easy, but it is always worth the effort and time.
“Decide what is the ultimate goal, what time and resources are at your disposal and how committed you are to make it happen,” she said. “With all those factors mapped out, establish small goals at short time intervals to facilitate success and compliance to the plan…. Take your time, because after all, these changes should become a permanent part of your new healthy lifestyle.”