Successful New Years Resolutions


It is likely that when reading this you are feeling a bit deflated, (or inflated!) You may be sitting reading this on your new IPad wearing your new jumper, smelling delightfully of your new aftershave/perfume but feeling a little miserable due to the January slump. The dark mornings make it difficult to get out of bed and the weather causes you to fantasise about getting back under the duvet as soon as possible.

Never fear! The days are staying lighter for longer and spring is just around the corner. ..

At the end of the Christmas break, after we have eaten twice our body weight in food and worked our way through the alcohol stock that before Christmas looked like it would last until Easter, it is easy to reflect on our lives and make decisions to make some changes, perhaps to be fitter, lose weight, stop smoking, drink less alcohol or to be nicer to people! Putting them into action is a lot more difficult.

We know that an unhealthy lifestyle isn’t the best thing for us and that we are pushing our luck, we know all of this but surely, this isn’t something we need to worry about just yet, is it?

The thing with health problems is that they sneak up on us without us realising that they’re happening. We naturally lose muscle mass as we age, if we are not active our muscle mass decreases 0.5-2% per year which results in a 2-4% loss of muscle strength. Our fat percent increases and before we know it we are over-weight. This all starts to happen as young as our 30’s. A sedentary lifestyle contributes to this process and we gain even more weight which increases the risk of developing a whole shopping list of medical problems including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis and some forms of cancer. Add into the mix nicotine, alcohol and stress and we really are well and truly strutting along the road of self – destruct. Every year we vow to do something about it but by the end of March we’ve given up.

There are lots of reasons why we fail to stick to our resolutions, we aim too high, we get impatient, we try to do too many things at once, we crave what we are denying ourselves or we just don’t have the right mindset.

Locus of Control

Psychologists believe that Locus of Control is an important part of our personality; it refers to our perception regarding our destiny, whether we feel we are in control or we are at the mercy of external forces, otherwise known as Internal and External Locus of Control.

 People with Internal Locus of Control:

  • Are more likely to take responsibility for their own actions
  • Tend to be less influenced by the opinions of other people
  • Are self-motivated
  • Tend to work hard to achieve the things they want
  • Feel confident in the face of challenges

People with external Locus of Control:

  • Blame outside forces or other people for their circumstances or failures
  • Don’t believe that they can change their situation themselves
  • Frequently feel hopeless or powerless if faced with difficult situations
  • Are not self -motivated

Basically, if you are more towards the Internal Locus of Control being successful with your New Years’ Resolutions will be easier than if you have more External traits. This doesn’t mean that you can’t reach your goals, it just means that you may need more support. For smokers, this would mean that if they try to stop on their own it usually results in failure but with the support of a trained specialist and some nicotine replacements they will be more likely to succeed whereas a person with Internal Locus of Control is more likely to give up smoking without support.

In the fitness world we see this all the time; the customer who comes in and needs extra support and motivating every step of the way to others who just want to get on with it with minimal contact with fitness instructors. Everyone is different and a trained instructor will be able to recognise those who need extra help. The External Locus of Control customer is sure to blame their instructor if they fail to lose weight or get fitter!

The choices we make and how we live our lives result from what we believe, influences from other forces and our personality, these can all be re-taught you just have to know how to do it!

On Wednesday, January 11th 6.00 pm - 7.00 pm, Mind Coach Asad Khan will be at the Healthy Hub Stevenage to invite you to a FREE presentation to help you to get in to the correct mindset to be able to stick to your New Years’ Resolutions – don’t even think about starting before you’ve listened to Asad!

The Healthy Hub is situated within the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre, off of the walkway between the town centre and the train station or it can be accessed through the Leisure Centre.

If you would like more details email or call 01438 242638

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