Trying to Get in Shape? Here's the History Behind the Common New Year's Resolution
Most people didn't see exercise as necessary until the mid-20th century. Food scarcity meant people didn't overeat, and it didn't make sense to try to burn off the calories.
However, industrialization changed the nature of work and food production. Fewer farmers were doing physical labour, and more people were doing office desk jobs. The growth of automobile culture, the suburban sprawl, and the popularity of television, all led to a more sedentary lifestyle.
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Near the end of the year, attempts to influence consumer behavior abounds with ways to "improve yourself" in the new year. They remind the consumer that you're still the same imperfect person they'...
Whereas previously resolutions took the form of taking stock of the previous year and making amends to move forward, the American culture today focus on the self.
Self-improvement often boils down to being thin and generating wealth.
Top resolutions tend to be the ones for which it's easiest to market products or services, like gym memberships or workout clothes. They are easily targeted to someone who feels pressure to change their physical aspect.
It is easy to imagine why people might choose these options when prompted to explain what they don't like about themselves and get them to buy things meant to soothe their fears of being unable to change.
Most people do not stick to their New Year's resolutions because they focus on the entire task.
By just focusing on the daily small steps, one is able to create a successful daily routine.
Dial back your goal for the New Year to be a more practical, pragmatic one, and your chances of success will rise dramatically.
Don't be too hard on yourself.
New Year Resolutions are a disaster for a majority of us.
They feel unpleasant due to the fact that we see them as an event. The time, process, dedication, and commitment we need to them done...
All events have a backstory, a history, some amount of risk and sacrifice.
As we know, exercise in any form makes us better.
Instead of complicating the process and making it a big event, just smoothen the daily process. Make a habit of going out to exercise by getting up early, wearing the right clothes, packing the gym bag at night, so that you remove friction from the activity.