There is something about New Year’s that I absolutely love. It is a perfect time to reflect on the good things that happened in the previous year, and flush the negative things that may have happened, and look forward.
Human nature commonly causes us to preferentially recall the negatives, the lack, the losses, and it can easily carry over and infect the upcoming year. This is a hidden obstacle to accomplishing your resolution that most people don’t realize. New Year’s is the opportunity to set a goal to better yourself or your situation, so it can have a huge feeling of importance. That sense that it IS so important, it almost hinders people. It can keep you from even making a resolution in the first place.
Many surveys indicate that as little as 8% of people actually keep their resolutions. Just reading that makes it seem like even the slightest breach of your resolutions will leave you as part of the 92% majority.
Here’s what you can do.
Understand that a small (or even big) breach of your resolution, is not the end. You set the goal for a reason. Take your thoughts away from the ‘slip-up’ and remember “why” you set the goal in the first place. Did you really want it bad enough? Was it important to you? If not, you probably need to get serious about getting your goals where they need to be.
If you set the proper goal, then it’s possible that you feel like the mountain is too tall to climb, and any step in the wrong direction is a reason to give up. Just remember.. this is a New YEAR’s resolution, and one poor decision doesn’t make or break it.
If any obstacle looks too big to overcome, you need to make the obstacle smaller. How do you move a mountain? One stone at a time.
The last thing you can do to give yourself the best chance at a successful resolution is accountability. We’ve all heard it before, and for good reason. It works. Having a partner doing it with you, or someone you report to regularly, or even having a weekly social media post about your progress.
There is a way to ramp up and make the accountability stick even more, and that’s having financial money tied to accountability. Whether that be through paying a fine for a breach, or even more effective, is paying a coach or trainer.
We see it every day in our clinic. When there is a financial commitment to pursue an outcome in health, or to get back to an activity they are missing out on due to injury, people who value their health enough to pay for it, they show up in a big way and grind to get to their outcome(and it’s a success rate waayyyy better than 8%).
So there you go. To summarize:
- Don’t let the negatives of the past interfere with the hope and potential of the future.
- Make a resolution that matters enough for you to stick to it.
- If you make the target too big, break it up into manageable portions.
- Find a way to “bake in” accountability into your plan.
If you’re in need of help to get you to the health outcome you are looking for, then reach out to us to see how we can help you reach your health and fitness goals.
Trevor Field is a physical therapist in Rancho Cucamonga, California, specializing in treatment of adolescent athletes, and has developed programs for ACL injury prevention, and sports performance enhancement. To learn more, go to www.formfunctionpt.com