Increase Your Chances Of Sticking To Your New Years Resolution

Although it’s a bit late, Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all had an enjoyable, safe and somewhat sugar induced coma filled celebration.  I spent the New Year in Houston, TX with Kat’s family and I had a blast eating great food, visiting and getting in a couple naps.  I even went to my first professional football game, which was awesome.

If you watch ESPN at all, you probably saw the Houston Texans’ Bryan Braman make this helmet-less tackle, which, by the way, happened right in front of where we were sitting:

It was so manly it made me want to eat rocks or wrestle a T-Rex or something along those lines.

Anyway, I had a great time, but now I’m back at it.

Everyone knows that with the new year comes “new year’s resolutions”.  2012 is kind of like fresh start.  2011 is all tainted, beat up and soooo last year that we need a new one to get anything done.

People make all kinds of new years resolutions, but none are more common than ones that are fitness/weight loss based.  People tell themselves, “This will be the year I finally eat healthy,” or “This year I’m finally losing that 20 pounds.”

Now I’m not a big fan of resolutions.  In fact I don’t like them.  I’m not saying I think it’s stupid if you make them, I’m just saying I don’t like the nature of the new year resolution.

I’ll tell you why.

First off, for some people the new year holds some magical properties that make it much more likely that you will actually complete your goals.  It doesn’t.  In fact you’re not anymore likely to stick to a resolution than you are to a goal you set on March 7th, or August 23rd.

Second, new years resolutions are typically VERY vague.  Resolutions like “I’m going to eat better” and “I’m going to exercise” are not specific and therefore are much more likely to be broken.

If you want to greatly increase the likelihood that months from now your resolutions will still be going strong, there are two things you can do.

1. Only make a few.

By simply making a few goals, you can focus all your efforts on them.  If you have 5 0r 6 resolutions, your time and energy is divided and your progress for each will be slower which will probably make you want to throw in the towel.

2. Make them measurable.

Making goals that you can measure will allow you to see how far you’ve come as well as allow you to have markers along the way.

Let me use two of my 2012 yearly goals for Michael Gray Fitness as examples:

Average 75 client hours per week

I am currently averaging 60 client hours per week.  I know that I need to average 15 hours a week more than last year to meet this goal.  This is incredibly measurable.  I simply add up how many client hours I have a week and see how that compares to my goal.  If I’m low, I need to get my butt in gear on the marketing side of things.

Have 8 articles published

This means I need to have one published on average every month and a half.  If July rolls around and I’ve only got two published, then I need to get focused on doing more writing outside of the blog.

If you want to “eat healthier”, rephrase the wording to something like “I will eat a fruit or a vegetable at each meal.”  Or if you want to lose 20 pounds give yourself a target date.  Let’s say it’s for a wedding on the first of July.  This gives you roughly 25 weeks to complete your resolution which means you need to lose an average of 0.8 pounds a week (20/25=0.8).  Now you have a number to measure your progress against.

Applying these two simple tactics to your new years resolutions seriously can help you stay focused and on track.  I’d love to hear what your resolutions are and how you’re making them measurable.  Drop them in the comments section below!

Feel free to share on Facebook or Twitter.  As always, your support is appreciated!

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