Life Health

Want to change your life in 2017? Wait till spring

By Jenny Yuen, Toronto Sun

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

TORONTO - 

Looking to shed the fat or cut out smoking? Give the new year some time to shake off the “new” before pinning down personal goals.

That’s the advice Toronto life coaches and a clinical psychologist are doling out to people eager to kickstart change in 2017.

According to a recent report from the University of Scranton, only 8% of people are successful in committing to New Year’s resolutions fully, while 42% never make them at all.

“Why people make them is because they have good intentions and it’s the start of the year and when they should be making resolutions,” life coach Catherine Thorburn says. “But they’re actually not mentally prepared to do so and that’s why they don’t follow through.”

Thorburn said goal-setters need a “vision” of what they wish to achieve and then work backwards. For example, it’s not just about losing a few pounds. It’s what losing that weight will mean, including fitting into a particular sexy dress or suit. The goal needs to be specific.

Goals must also be short-term and realistic, registered clinical psychologist Oren Amitay says, arguing spring would be a better time to take them on.

“It’s the worst timing with the January cold weather and they’re recovering from lots of holidays,” he says. “It’s hard enough to get back into your routine, let alone a more difficult routine.”

People should also have a reward and punishment system in place for each step of the way.

“My favourite punishment is if you don’t do something, you have to donate to a cause that you’re really opposed to,” Amitay says. “If you don’t have someone holding you accountable, you’re not going to do it.

“It’s always good to have someone working with you, as long as they’re reliable.”

 

TOP RESOLUTIONS FOR 2017

1. Lose weight/healthier eating: 21.4%

2. Life/self improvements: 12.3%

3. Better financial decisions: 8.5%

4. Quit smoking: 7.1%

5. Do more exciting things: 6.3%

6. Spend more time with family/close friends: 6.2%

7. Work out more often: 5.5%

8. Learn something new on my own: 5.3%

9. Do more good deeds for others: 5.2%

10. Find the love of my life: 4.3

11. Find a better job: 4.1%

12. Other: 13.8%

— Source: statisticbrain.com

jyuen@postmedia.com