Life Health

The mentality of change 

By Warren Reed, Camrose Canadian Lifestyles Contributor

The key to sticking with healthy goals is often times all about the mental approach. Metro News Service

The key to sticking with healthy goals is often times all about the mental approach. Metro News Service

As January comes to an end, New Year’s Resolutions start becoming more and more difficult to maintain. All the good intentions you had of creating new habits and change in your life isn’t going as well as you had planned. But why is it so difficult to keep these going? 


You did all the right things when setting your goals. You went through the SMART protocols, created a network of accountability, and created a simple plan that is both specific and adaptable. Even with all of that, the stress of attacking your resolutions is weighing you down and you can’t keep them going. 

It’s not because you’ve missed anything in your preparations, it has everything to do with the mentality you have when creating these resolutions.  

Do some of these ideas sound familiar to your own New Year’s Resolutions: I want to lose weight, or I need to eat out less, or I am going to stop smoking. Those are some pretty common goals when it comes to life changes and there are common and proven plans to accomplish them. Lots of people have had success pursuing those goals, and an equal number of people have probably struggled with it as well. 

The main reason for people having success in changing their lifestyle has to do with the mentality they have when approaching it as well as the actual verbiage they use to describe it.  

Take a closer look at some of the key words in those ideas. Lose, less and stop. These are the first ways that people go about setting their goals and it’s also part of the reason that they don’t find the success. 

The way you describe your desired life changes sets the tone for your new lifestyle. Using words that have negative connotations set you up for limited success. If you’re consistently using negative terms to describe your new lifestyle, that will lead to subpar results. In order to make a positive and lasting change, it’s important to use positive terms. While it’s true that negative words can create motivation to change, they don’t have the same staying power that a positive message would. 

Think of it this way, when someone tells you that you can’t do something, you’re pretty motivated to accomplish that thing. But does that mean that after you accomplish that task, you’ll be motivated to continue taking on that challenge day after day? That’s probably not the case. If you’re given support and set your goals using positive messages, that will continue to motivate you into lasting change. 

When you’re setting your goals and undertaking a change in lifestyle, try using words that are more positive in nature. Instead of the idea of losing weight, consider other ways that can affect the number on the scale. You could view it as a change in body composition or gaining muscular strength. Both of those changes are likely to show lower numbers on a scale, but the way that they’re expressed are more positive. 

Likewise, to change the idea of eating out less, you could instead plan on eating more meals at home. Or you could say that you’re going to save money by undertaking a more deliberate meal planning process. The desired effect is the same, but it’s expressed in more positive terms. 

The words that we use to define our goals also tend to be similar to the words we use to define ourselves. In that way, it’s important to be aware of how you speak about things in your life. Fill your life with positive messages and you’ll find that goals become easier to accomplish. 


Warren is an ACE Certified Personal Fitness Trainer working out of a studio in downtown Camrose. He’s had experience with personal fitness and coaching for almost 10 years. 


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