Holding Onto Those New Year’s Resolutions
What else does a legitimate blog write about in January, if not New Year’s Resolutions! We’ve all made one at some time or another; it’s like collecting $200 when you pass go in a game of Monopoly—you just do it. But how often do we consider the lasting payoff of a well-considered resolution? How often do we research all that we can gain from making a new choice and sticking with it in the new year? Not me, I’ll tell you that.
So, part of setting a resolution for oneself has to do with changing our mindset about an action or a habit that we have. Research, history, and popular culture all agree that one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions is “Lose Weight.” And yet according to a recent Business Insider article, approximately 80% of new year’s resolutions fail by February. So, what gives? We know that carrying less weight, coupled with regular exercise and a well-balanced diet is the “right” approach to living a healthy life. So how do we push through what seems like absolute torture to create and solidify new, healthier habits?
I think it starts with changing our perspective.
Rather than focusing on the superficial result of looking better in our clothes (or losing weight), let’s look at how exercise can affect our brain. “Studies indicate that our mental firepower is directly linked to our physical regimen.” And these implications are extremely relevant to our performance at work. If we can create the habit of exercising on a regular basis, we have the following things to look forward to:
- Improved concentration
- Sharper memory
- Faster learning
- Prolonged mental stamina
- Enhanced creativity
- Lower stress
Instead of seeing exercise as an indulgence that requires extra time and effort, we need to start viewing it as part of what keeps us productive, successful, and happy. If we view exercise as a way of bolstering our mental acumen (which has a direct value at work), perhaps we can keep our New Year’s resolution long enough to create a life-long habit. Looking better in our clothes is a happy side effect.
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