We all know we have done it before. We know family and friends who have done it before. Set these lofty goals for our New Year Resolutions, and then pretty much give up on them within a month or two.
According to finder.com, almost 50% of resolutions set every year revolve around health and fitness. Whether it is losing 10 pounds, or running a 20k – people gravitate toward the end goal. I’ll discuss more in a second why this is a terrible idea.
Of the people who set resolutions, 13% think they will fail right off the bat (seems odd…) compared to about 73% who believe they will for sure accomplish their goal. In the same group of surveys, the biggest reason why people felt they would give up or fail their resolutions was willpower, followed by forgetting.
So how do we avoid becoming one of these negative statistics?
There are three areas that I encourage everyone to focus on:
1) Set Process Goals vs Result Goals
2) Set timelines with mini goals and rewards
3) Create Environments that You Can Win In
First – process goals vs. result goals. A result goal is something that has an end result – lose 20 pounds. Run a 20k race. It’s OKAY to have these goals, BUT do not focus on them, or they will drive you nuts.
Think about it this way, if you set a goal to lose 20 pounds, and that’s all you think about; there is nothing you can do to magically make 20 pounds vanish by just thinking about it.
Pick your result goal, then forget about it – and pick your PROCESS goals.
If you want to lose 20 pounds in 2022, then you maybe need to start working out more. I’m all for setting big goals, but if you are starting from nothing, trying to do the Super Soul Crusher Extreme Transformation Plan – 7 days per week, 2 times per day of exercise for 52 weeks… might be a bit much (honestly, it’s not even necessary!). How about the boring old “3×52” plan? 3 workouts per week, for 52 straight weeks is a GREAT plan to follow, and it is one you can win at week after week. What about diet? Maybe you choose to stop drinking sugar loaded beverages. Great; now make it happen!
As far as making it the whole year sticking to your goals, you need to create mini goals, and reward systems for yourself.
Back to losing 20 pounds in 2022 – this breaks down to 5 pounds per quarter. But again, these are RESULT GOALS, so don’t focus on them. Now, focus on the process goals you set, and elaborate on them and be specific:
Example: I will workout 3 days per week every week, on a specific plan laid out by my trainer, and I will stick to it for the long haul.
I will eat one fist size serving of vegetables every day.
You will need a way to track these things, but then come up with a reward if you accomplish your goal. Something you will be excited about!
Example: Every week that I get my 3 workouts in, I will set $10 in a side savings account and at the end of Q1 I should have $130, which I will spend on something I normally would never buy for myself. What about rewarding yourself with a great compression item like Mueller’s Graduated Compression arm, leg or calf sleeves? Great for recovery!
It doesn’t have to be money related, but let’s be honest, it helps!
Lastly, you need to create environments that you CAN win in. Without a supporting environment, it will be very hard to accomplish your goal. This is why people who think they will fail due to willpower probably will fail! Willpower is TERRIBLE to rely on.
Imagine trying to sober up while hanging out with your alcoholic friends at the local bar every night…that sounds like a terrible environment for success! Willpower will only last so long in that situation.
Part of your environment also must be your tracking of your process goals. This starts with creating appointments with yourself in your calendar to support your goals. Gym time. Meal prep time. Running time. HOLD yourself to it!
Having a place to mark down that you did them, or check them off is very powerful. Even a simple green check mark on a calendar can be very motivating. This also will help when curveballs come flying your way.
Say your goal is to run a 20k. Then you slip and roll your ankle. Now you can either give up on your goal, or take action to course correct. Give it some rest, talk to your doctor, and if it doesn’t improve within 48 hours, then potentially look into an ankle support to help you get back to your running, like The One® Ankle Brace from Mueller! So maybe your goal was to run 3 days per week, but now you have to give it time to rest – so what can you replace that green check mark with – to keep your streak going? How about doubling down on your nutrition? Take that energy that you might expend running, and eat a diet built to support recovery and health so you can get back to running – CHECK!
Or what if you have a goal to deadlift 300 pounds, but along your journey you pull a muscle in your back? Give up? NO! Rest it, and get some supporting help – like this 4-in-1 Lumbar Back Brace with removable hot/cold pack!
Now that you have the blueprint to succeed this year, get to work. Write out your result goal. Come up with 3-4 process goals to support it. Break it up into mini goals – and add in mini rewards! Create a plan, schedule it out, and hold yourself to it – day in and day out. Make it a great year!