How many times can you honestly say, “I’ve accomplished my New Year’s resolution.” Well, chances are you can’t. But don’t worry, you are in the majority. A recent University of Scranton study shows that of the 41% of Americans who make a New Year’s resolution, only about 8% of those accomplished that goal. That’s an astounding stat.
Well, if you know me or read my blog, then I’m thinking you won’t be surprised that nearly 40% of resolutions made have something to do with improving your body and mindset:
- Lose Weight / Healthier Eating: 21.4%
- Life / Self Improvements: 12.3%
- Work out more often: 5.5%
Those are numbers I like to see, but knowing only 8% of those people are going to fulfill those goals is a bit scary. So, why bring this up now? Only a couple weeks into the new year? Well, because if you are like most people, within a week or two you are going to hit that wall. By the end of February nearly 40% of people are going to drop out entirely. By mid-year, those who dropped away may not even remember they made a resolution until December when you make that same resolution for 2019.
But, you don’t have to be one of these statistics. Resolutions are, by nature, changing your habits. And the hardest habit to break are those lofty ones. A lofty habit is not, “I would like to drop 10% of my body fat by July.” That’s a habit you can probably attain and for some people, they can attain it quickly. But, that wasn’t your habit this year, was it?
I remember talking to a friend of mine recently. 6’2” and 245 lbs. His goal for the year was “I want to look like Jason Momoa.” If you don’t know him, then just Google Aquaman. Sure, my friend’s five inches shorter, but he is also 45% body fat. Probably not a good start if Momoa is your goal. Does that mean my friend will never look like a superhero? Not at all. It means that his goal was so lofty and undefined that his likelihood of giving up is a lot greater than his goal of success.
So, how do you work in your goals to achieve your New Year’s resolution?
The answer is steps instead of strides. Strides are great in a short sprint, but in a marathon, you’ll fall apart before you hit mile 13. My suggestion is to shorten those goals and as the year progresses, and more importantly, as you see progress, then you should incrementally adapt your goals.
While most of you likely hit the gym a couple times a week, so does my “Momoa” friend. He was even a high-level athlete at one time in his life. But, a lofty goal is a lofty goal despite your past and despite your mindset. So, what can he do to become Momoa?
- He can focus on portion control and maybe instead of pasta he can eats beans.
- He can switch his five days-a-week low-intensity cardio to three days of weight training and two days of cardio with perhaps a High Intensity Interval Training workout (HIIT).
- He can put away his Netflix binge and sleep eight hours a night instead of four.
- He can switch to water, tea, and infused water instead of soda and beer.
These are all small and attainable steps toward his ultimate goal – being Momoa. As his weight shifts from fat to muscle and his energy levels change he will be more equipped to take on that long-term ultimate goal.
It’s never too late to adjust your New Year’s Resolution. In fact, it’s a good idea to always evaluate, grow and incrementally adapt your goals to your current success. Those steps will get you farther than strides every time.