Brownsville health leaders advise on how to stick to new year’s resolutions

Cofounder at at Metanoia Wellness Center Oscar Gonz‡lez slices a Chorriza vegan pizza at Metanoia's Kitchen which offers to the public plant based vegetarian and vegan pizzas and other food items including a healthy juice and shake bar. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

According to a recent study by WalletHub, Brownsville is one of the top 10 worst cities for keeping resolutions.

“To help Americans stick to their 2021 goals, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 57 key metrics,” the release reads. “The data set ranges from exercise opportunities to income growth to employment outlook.”

Oscar Gonzalez, co-owner at Metanoia Wellness Center, said instead of focusing on the reasons why Brownsville is on the top cities of not sticking with their new year’s resolutions, it’s better to focus on the things we can do to make a change. He said instead of thinking “why not?” we should change the mindset to “how can we?”

“A resolution is nothing without action,” he said. “Desiring a change is part of it, but actually doing something about that change is everything. How many times you desire something? How many times you want something but do nothing? It’s good to have your resolutions but it’s better to do something about it.

“Motivation is awesome, and at the beginning of the year motivation is at a high level completely. You are so sure, you are ready, you want to do, you want to accomplish and then you start a program. But as good as it is, motivation is a limited resource, inevitably, that motivation will decrease with time because that’s our nature. We cannot forget that the way to reach our goals is not by pure motivation alone but through discipline.”

When asked for advice to achieve our resolutions, Gonzalez said he likes to follow the five-second rule. He added it is very important to set goals that will change our behavior gradually, instead of trying to make an instant change that will not be sustainable.

“Don’t think too much about it because your mind is going to look for excuses,” he said. “Once you want to do something, you have five seconds to do it. If you want to go to the gym, get up, get dressed and go to the gym. If you wait more than five seconds your mind will find excuses. Stop thinking, don’t over think it, just do it.”

About half of all adults make New Year’s resolutions. However, fewer than 10% manage to keep them for more than a few months, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

“As a professor of behavioral addiction I know how easy people can fall into bad habits and why on trying to give up those habits it is easy to relapse,” Mark Griffiths, a professor of behavioral addiction at the Nottingham Trent University, said in one of his articles.

“The main reason that people don’t stick to their resolutions is that they set too many or they’re unrealistic to achieve. They may also be victims of ‘false hope syndrome.’ Which is characterized by a person’s unrealistic expectations about the likely speed, amount, ease and consequences of changing their behavior.”

Owner of JuiceUs Alexandra Anzaldua, who self-describes as mompreneur, said resolutions are very important because they pave the way for the new year and keeps us motivated. She said as humans, we need to have a guide, so setting resolutions will help us have our goals clearer to be able to achieve them.

“I’ve noticed that those who succeed with their resolutions the most are those who partner,” she said. “Those who set their goals along with their best friends, their mom, sister, husband or those who join a community. Such as a gym, or a group at school. If they are together, it is more likely they will achieve their goals rather than if they were by themselves.”

Natalie Gonzalez, co-owner at Metanoia Wellness Center, said while setting goals to improve our bodies is important, it is also important to connect the goals so that mental health is also achieved. She said since the pandemic started, her mental health has been very important.

“To continue to live a healthy lifestyle and to also be an example to our daughter, to our community that we’ve built here because it’s something that’s so important to me. I do have goals but it’s basically just remaining on track,” she said.

“It’s been a while where I feel that my mental health has been a lot more important. Not that the physical side isn’t but I’ve focused more on that with the anxiety of this crazy 2020.”