The start of the exercise culture - Deepstash

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Trying to Get in Shape? Here's the History Behind the Common New Year's Resolution

The start of the exercise culture

The exercise culture in the U.S. only took off after World War II.

  • After a 1955 report showed that 57.9% of American kids failed one or more of six physical fitness tests - versus about 8 % of European kids - an executive order was issued to create the President's Council on Youth Fitness.
  • In 1960, President-Elect John F. Kennedy wrote that the increasing lack of physical fitness is a menace to society. This push for fitness led to an expansion of the President's Council on Youth Fitness.

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How new years resolutions changed

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.

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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.

Gretchen Rubin

“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”

Gretchen Rubin
One Step Daily

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.

Keep It Practical

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's resolutions

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...

Event Vs Process

All events have a backstory, a history, some amount of risk and sacrifice.

  • If we focus on the event only, we will not be able to do anything with our lives.
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Losing weight

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.