Making New Year’s resolutions can be traced back nearly 4,400 years to ancient Babylon. At the beginning of each new year, the Babylonians would make promises to their gods. Not much has changed today, other than now we make promises to ourselves. We make psychological assessments of where we’re satisfied and where we’re not, where we fell short, and how we can do better or be better. These resolutions all have one commonality: they are made with positive intent.
The United States of Resolutions
A recent poll suggests that nearly 87% of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions and take them seriously. In another poll, it was found that of the nearly 30% of respondents who said they were making New Year’s resolutions, 50% said their top resolution was to exercise.
But while so many people aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of them will ever succeed. That means that 156 million people will probably give up on their resolution. In my experience as a health, wellness, and now performance coach of more than 20 years, most will give up before March.
So, when it comes to making and ultimately keeping resolutions, how do you buck the odds and stay on the path? The following are 10 proven strategies to make sure your positive intent ends in a positive outcome.
10 Strategies to accomplish your resolution:
- Don’t try and go 0-60 in 4 seconds flat. Take your time. Completing a resolution is a marathon and not a sprint. Slow and steady really does win the race, because it helps you change your lifestyle by developing better habits. Habits are not developed overnight.
- Stay away from unconventional cleanses or fad diets as a way to jump start your “new you.” They will most likely detour you from your process because you will lack the energy to sustain the behavior. In addition, coming off radical diets usually has adverse “rebound” effects as your body seeks to normalize.
- Believe in yourself. One of my colleagues from Chile used to say to his clients, “Do you want to stay in the mud like a pig, or fly like an eagle?” (Insert a rousing rendition of “I Believe I Can Fly”.)
- If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Plan times in your week to exercise, eat clean, and do what it takes. That said, don’t let paralysis by analysis derail you. If it’s getting too complicated, step back and listen to Nike and “Just Do It!”
- Trust the process and have patience throughout it. Because chances are that just when you are ready to give up in frustration, that’s when the changes will start showing.
- Enjoy the process and use it as a new beginning. Go buy new running shoes or cleats, new Lulus, hop on the JAWKU website and get yourself a massage gun or Harbinger to find a new belt.
- Measure your progress. Much like an athlete will use the JAWKU Speed Timing System, you need to find an easy way to measure your goals.
- Enjoy your off day. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Eat your cheat meal(s), chill out, and get a massage.
- Find your “why” and not just your “what.” If describing your “why” gives you goosebumps and makes you nearly start to cry, that is a very good “why.”
- Don’t worry if you slip up. Your path to your resolution is going to be filled with banana peels. What if you mess up? It’s okay, just fail fast and fail forward!
With all this in mind, set your plan for the year and go achieve your goals for 2021. Good luck!
– Coach Michael Cummings