How to succeed with your New Year's Resolution
In short, don’t set one.
Here’s the thing with New Year’s resolutions, they’re setting you up to fail. Think about any time you’ve set off to accomplish something. Rarely does it involve an arbitrary start date like we have on January 1. In fact, until just over 250 years ago the “New Year” started on March 25, which if you think about it actually makes a lot of sense. This is the time when winter starts to fade and spring starts to well, spring. The Babylonians have some of the first history of resolutions for the new year. They made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.
The tradition has since shifted in our culture to more of lifestyle and personal development resolutions. With Thanksgiving and Christmas being so close in our calendar, it’s easy to see why we center our promises to ourselves around fitness, getting back on track losing a few lbs. We increase our indulgence with little to no self control and try to push back by making outrageous declarations of self improvement in the following 365 days.
Unfortunately the statistics are against us. According to research conducted by Strava, a social network for athletes, discovered that Saturday, Jan. 12, is the fateful day of New Year’s resolutions. Again, this makes perfect sense. We hit the ground running on 1/1 with all the aspirations to improve ourselves. Let’s say Jan 1 is a monday, the 12th would give us until the following Friday when we head out for dinner and drinks where our willpower doesn’t stand a chance.
Now I know this all sounds all doom and gloom but there’s hope. The statement “Don’t set one” referring to your resolutions is meant to change the way you look at the new year. What if instead you played the long game? What if you took the time to map out the next 12 months with small, achievable goals? What if you had someone to help keep you accountable? What if instead of changing everything about your life you chose one continuous theme to work from?
*Let’s see what that might look like. *
What if you played the long game? If you’re reading this you’re probably somewhere in the 30-45 age range, some younger, some older but we have to work with a base here. Slice it down the middle and you’re a 37 year old. Now, it took you 37 years to get to where you are, whether that’s your nutrition, physical appearance, strength or athletic ability. Trying to change everything about your fitness in a year or in some expectations a month is like trying to learn a completely new language. Not sure if you remember taking a new language in high school, but on a personal note, it was extremely difficult and the three years of Spanish I took made me a beginner at best.
Keep the long game in mind when setting out on a new goal. Progress is sometimes fast, sometimes slow and sometimes non-existent. Trust the process and your coaches. They have had the experience to know what works and what doesn’t.
What if you took the time to map out the next 12 months with small, achievable goals? Some of you may remember a time before Google maps and Waze. Fewer remember a time before Map Quest and having to go to AAA to get your Triptik. Very rarely, if ever did you set out on a road trip without first planning your route. Why would you? Your chances of getting lost were enormous. The same goes for your goals. Let’s say you want to lose 30lbs in 2020. How will you get there? What will you do if you get derailed?
A sample 12 month plan might look like something like this: Jan: Purchase food scale, get measurements, gym MWF Feb: Track food, gym MWF Mar: Set macros, gym MWF Apr: stick to macros, intermittent fast, gym MWF May: start calorie deficit, track, gym MWF Jun: adjust food if needed, gym MWF July: get measurements, gym MTWF Aug: Sign up for event, gym MTWF Sept: Train for event, gym MTWF Oct: complete event, gym MTWTrF Nov: Write down what worked/what didn’t, gym MTWTrF Dec: final year measurements, gym MTWTrF
What if you had someone to help keep you accountable? I always think of that “BUDDY” moment in Heavyweights. We all know having a training partner, coach or someone in general to hold us to our goals will exponentially increase our ability to reach those goals. Get yourself someone who you trust to call you on your “I’m tired” or “I deserve this entire box of Cheese-It’s”. It makes a massive difference. Find someone in that 5:00 AM class who you can count on calling your still sleeping butt in the morning to ask why you aren’t in class. Find someone who asks why you posted bottomless mimosas on your Insta-story on a Wednesday. A coach is your best bet, but a family member, friend or significant other can be amazing as well.
What if instead of changing everything about your life you chose one continuous theme to work from? In our most recent trainer meeting we asked all of the staff at Triumph to pick one word to focus on for 2020. We had words ranging from growth, action to people. This can be a huge driver of the course of a year. At Triumph we base all of our decisions off of our core values: client first, humility, consistency and integrity. If a decision does not fall within those four words we don’t do it. You can do the same with your word for the year.
Let’s say your word is action for the year. Now we’re not talking action in the movie sense, but more in the take action realm. Do instead of just talking a big game. This can completely transform your decision process. Instead of just talking about taking that class, DO IT! Instead of saying you’re going to get up for the 6:00 AM class, DO IT! Instead of just saying you’re going to pursue that new career, DO IT!
*In closing, it’s up to you how you pursue this next decade. We truly hope that this upcoming year brings you joy, happiness and fulfillment in every aspect of your life. We’re here to help you progress any way possible. *