It’s that time of year when folks decide to pick up a new habit or ditch an old one. Yep, you guessed it – Resolution Time! Yet, more times than not, people give up on their resolutions within a very short period of time.

The failure of New Year’s resolutions can be attributed to various factors, but one of the main reasons is the lack of realistic goal-setting and sustainable behavior change.

Here are some key factors that contribute to the failure of resolutions.

Unrealistic Expectations

Setting overly ambitious goals without considering the practicality of achieving them can set individuals up for failure. Unrealistic expectations may lead to frustration and a sense of defeat when the desired results are not quickly attained.

Lack of Specificity

Vague or overly broad resolutions make it challenging to create actionable plans. Resolutions like “get fit” or “eat healthier” lack specificity, making it difficult for you to know where to start and how to measure progress.

No Clear Plan

A resolution without a well-defined plan is almost guaranteed to fail. Failing to outline specific steps and milestones can leave you feeling lost and unsure of how to make progress toward their goals.

Insufficient Motivation

External motivations, such as societal expectations or peer pressure, may not be sustainable in the long run. True behavior change often requires internal motivation driven by personal values, genuine interest, or a deep desire for improvement.

Failure to Address Underlying Issues

Resolutions often focus on the surface-level goals without addressing the root causes of unhealthy habits. Without understanding and addressing the underlying issues, you may find it challenging to break free from ingrained patterns.

All-or-Nothing Mentality

Adopting an all-or-nothing mindset can be detrimental to resolution success. Perfectionism and rigid thinking may lead to discouragement when faced with setbacks, causing individuals you to abandon your resolutions entirely.

Lack of Accountability and Support

Trying to achieve resolutions alone may make the process more challenging. The absence of a support system or accountability partners can result in a lack of encouragement and motivation during challenging times.

Failure to Learn from Setbacks

Setbacks are a natural part of any transformative journey. However, the inability to learn from and adapt to setbacks can lead to feelings of defeat. Successful resolution-keepers view setbacks as opportunities for learning and growth.

To enhance the likelihood of resolution success, focus on setting realistic, specific goals, developing a clear plan, finding intrinsic motivation, addressing underlying issues, adopting a flexible mindset, and seeking support from others. Taking a holistic and sustainable approach to behavior change increases the chances of maintaining resolutions throughout the year.

Survey Says!

In a recent survey conducted by Forbes Health/OnePoll, it was revealed that the primary new year’s resolution for 2024 among respondents is centered around fitness, with 48% of individuals prioritizing the improvement of their physical health. Surprisingly, this marks a shift from the previous year, where mental health took precedence over physical well-being for many.

This shift in priorities may be attributed to a growing awareness of the impact of lifestyle choices, particularly diet, on overall health.

One concerning aspect highlighted by the survey is the prevalence of ultra-processed foods and their potential negative effects on both physical and mental well-being.

Frankenfoods

Ultra-processed foods, which can be classified as Frankenfoods, are often as much as 80 – 99% of many people’s diets which directly contributes to the rise in obesity, heart disease, obesity, various cancers, strokes, cognitive issues, depression, and dementia.

The reality is food manufacturers do what they can to get people hooked on ultra-processed foods. After all, when one becomes addicted to certain “foods” they become a customer for life…regardless of how unhealthy that life may be.

The more we become aware of the deceit and manipulation we’ve been subjected to, the greater our chances of making the must-needed changes to improve our health.

The following are suggestions on how to avoid ultra-processed foods and set oneself up for success.

Prioritize Whole Foods

Emphasize the consumption of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, plant proteins, and nuts. These foods provide essential nutrients without the additives, preservatives, and excessive sugars often found in ultra-processed options.

Read Labels Mindfully

If you do buy packaged foods, get in the habit of carefully reading food labels before making a purchase. Choose products with minimal ingredients and be cautious of items containing unfamiliar or unpronounceable components. Opt for foods with shorter ingredient lists, as they are more likely to be less processed.

Prepare Meals at Home

Taking control of your food preparation allows you to monitor the quality of ingredients and cooking methods. Cooking at home not only ensures healthier choices but also provides an opportunity to experiment with flavors and discover a newfound appreciation for nutritious, homemade meals.

Granted, this is not always an option due to schedules and very busy lives, but it may be worth considering in order to live healthier lives void of many of the preventable diseases previously mentioned.

Avoid Processed Oils

Steering clear of processed oils is important for your overall health. Many processed oils, often found in various packaged and fast foods, undergo refining processes that strip them of essential nutrients and introduce harmful additives.

These oils, high in trans fats and saturated fats, have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, their inflammatory properties can contribute to various health issues, including obesity, dementia and chronic inflammation. Opting for healthier alternatives like raw nuts and avocados can go a long way in promoting heart health and overall well-being.

Avoiding processed oils is a small yet significant step towards a healthier lifestyle.

Make Wise Choices

Making food choices specific to your individual needs is crucial, especially when considering potential allergies. While it’s essential to address specific food sensitivities, a foundational decision for many is steering clear of all animal and dairy products.

This choice, often rooted in ethical, environmental, or health reasons, involves avoiding meat, dairy, and other animal-derived ingredients. Not only does this decision align with a plant-based lifestyle, but it can also have profound health benefits, reducing the risk of certain diseases and promoting overall well-being.

Prioritizing plant-based alternatives ensures a diverse and nourishing diet while accommodating potential allergies, making it a holistic approach to personalized and mindful eating.

Ultra-Processed People (Access FREE)

A valuable resource for understanding the impact of ultra-processed foods is the book “Ultra-Processed People Why We Can’t Stop Eating Food That Isn’t Food.

The information contained in this book sheds light on the reasons behind our inclination towards processed options and offers guidance on adopting healthier eating habits.

If you’re interested in the audiobook version, you can access “Ultra-Processed People” on Amazon Audible for FREE when you get the 30-day trial offer from Amazon. You can cancel at any time. Go to https://amzn.to/3RLBEtA to start listening today.

By incorporating these suggestions into your daily routine, you can take proactive steps to avoid the pitfalls of ultra-processed foods and pave the way for a healthier, more balanced lifestyle in 2024.