Fitness psychology has lots to teach the 85% of well-intentioned people who fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions each year. With The Sporting Club as your central address for health and fitness improvement, you are already ahead of the game.
You wouldn’t buy a product that fails 85% of the time, so why do so many stick to a strategy year after year that fails more than four-fifths of the time, especially when it comes to something so important as your overall well being?
Nearly half of all Americans make one or more resolutions, and from my research, it appears that the following are among the top 10 on most of their lists each year:
- Spend more time with family and friends
- Fit in fitness
- Win the battle of the bulge
- Stop smoking
- Enjoy life more
- Drink less-much less
- Get out of debt
- Learn something new
- Help others
- Get organized
As time goes by, here’s how many typical resolutions are maintained: past the first week, 75%: past 2 weeks, 71%: after 4 weeks, 65%; and after 6 months, 46% Yes, for many it seems a New Year’s resolution is something that just goes in one year and out the other, the fact is that people who make resolutions are 10 times more like to reach their goals than those who don’t have any specific resolutions for the new year.
Here’s the best list of tips I believe will put you over your goal line:
- Set one SMART goal: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Make sure you avoid all or nothing thinking, “I will never X again.”
- Have a detailed road map, with short-term measureable goals, and plan ahead of time to deal with obstacles.
- Write it down starting with the advantages of your goal. Be certain to include the obstacles you believe you will face and your solutions to deal with them. Have completion dates for your long-term and short-term goals.
- Pretend it’s a year from now and you have accomplished your goal as a successful New Year’s resolver. Write a letter to yourself describing what you did over the “past year” to accomplish your goal.
- Get someone to cover you back, a buddy, a coach, a trainer. The more people you tell of your goal, the better. Write a check to a friend in advance that can be cashed if you do NOT meet your goal. In other words, enlist as much support as you can.
- Take real action which contrary to popular belief precedes motivation. Don’t wait to feel like getting started—start and then you will feel like doing it. Visualize yourself having accomplished your goal and act like you have. Tracking progress is critical and so are rewards along the way.
- Finally, think of setbacks as pauses, not the end of the season. We all have to crawl before we can walk, so be flexible, positive and kind to yourself along the way.
While many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits, with The Sporting Club staff always ready to assist you in using these 7 tips, you will surely beat the odds and be successful in reaching your goal.
Finally, to put this into context, we have no further to look than at Ben Franklin who wisely said, “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors and let each New Year find you a better person.”