Every year, countless millions of us all around the world make New Year Resolutions. However, despite the very best of intentions, they soon become abandoned. Statistics show that around 80% of us have ditched our resolutions by the end of January – only 4 weeks after they were first made with only a mere 8% of us actually achieving them! So, let’s take a look at what causes our resolutions to crash and burn, and what we should be doing instead.
New Year Grind: it’s hard getting back into our existing routine immediately after Christmas. It may be a welcome break from routine, but it’s hardly a restful ‘break’ – especially when you factor in menopause too. Therefore, asking even more of ourselves at this time of year seems nonsensical.
Winter Woes: animals know best when it comes to adapting to cold weather and less sunlight by hibernating. The Winter season also affects us too. Our body temperature and metabolism both lower significantly in Winter to adapt to colder weather - the shorter the days, the more we feel like staying snuggled up in bed and not getting up at all. So, it seems crazy to suddenly place more pressure on ourselves to be thinner, fitter, happier etc when our body naturally wants to slow down and conserve energy.
Manage Expectations: when making resolutions, we tend to focus on changing all the things that we aren’t happy with - such as losing weight, becoming healthier and getting fitter. However, these goals not only require a serious framework to guide us to success, they require huge mindset shifts too as they all relate to behaviours that may have been established for many years. Establishing new habits takes time, effort and repeated practice before they feel natural or normal.
Mindset matters: most of us expect to fail right from the get-go because that’s what’s happened in the past, and of course our inner critic is always there to remind us. Plus, accepting failure is often easier than accepting the struggle ahead so we self-sabotage right from the start. Established patterns of behaviour and habits will always be our default response unless we work seriously hard to change our mindset.
So, when and how should we make resolutions?
Failing yet again to stick to New Year Resolutions becomes another stick to beat ourselves with. They can do more harm than good and even play havoc with our motivation and self-belief which are already under threat during menopause.
Better to use the New Year by starting to develop a positive vision for yourself in menopause. Ask yourself these questions:
How do you want to look and feel?
What do you wish to achieve personally?
What’s your professional ambitions?
Where would you like to live?
Who most inspires you?
How do you see yourself living life post-menopause?
Channel all your answers into a Vision Mood Board which can be created by hand or online. Once completed, place it in a prominent place to remind you of your vision and your dreams. Then, when you have recovered from Christmas, you can start to take small steps towards making your vision come true.
Menopause can seriously challenge our ability to make plans and stay committed to them but that doesn’t mean we have to stay stuck watching the magic fade. We can emerge stronger. We can grow. We can change.
Want to know more about mindset, creating a vision board and getting the most of out of your 2023?
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