Guest Post from Active Living Research
How have your New Year’s resolutions been going? Like many people, I enjoyed the holiday season with plenty of good food and drink and then felt the urge to redeem myself with healthier habits once January 1 rolled around. But how often have you started a new year by walking a mile everyday or replacing your lunchtime soda with water, only to find yourself reverting back to old habits within a few weeks? In fact, most New Year’s resolutions ultimately fail. Then you inevitably blame yourself for lacking the willpower to stay disciplined. But the problem isn’t necessarily that you’re lazy or lack self-control. The real issue is our environments make it far too easy, cheap, and convenient to eat too much junk food and be sedentary.
Let’s face it. We are creatures of habit, temptations are very hard to resist, and many of us live in communities where it is difficult to walk, bike, or play due to a variety of barriers, such as a lack of sidewalks, a car-dependent environment, or having parks that feel unsafe or are located too far away.
However there is reason to be optimistic about developing sustainable healthy behaviors. The trick is in creating goals and environments with the right elements for success.