Right now you are living in the land of good intentions.
Everywhere you look people are declaring their resolutions for success in 2020. It is hard not to get swept up in the momentum as this decade draws to a close.
The reality however is that the inspiring resolutions you are dreaming of will likely never come to fruition. In fact, most of us won’t be doing much differently this year than we were last year. Science says so.
But here is the thing, I want more for you. Everything you need to make your resolutions come true already lies inside of you. You just happen to be going about it the wrong way. Years of failed resolutions have taught me as much but since I know we can do better, here are 5 ways we can make our resolutions stick for 2020.
Stop making resolutions and start setting goals
The word resolution or the verb to resolve is a cop out in itself. They mean to aspire or to have an intention. It is a decision to take action but really it ends there. A study by Forbes showed that less than 25% of people will stay committed to their resolutions by the end of January and a mere 8% will actually see them through (1).
Conversely, Harvard Business reports that the 14% of people who set goals are ten times more successful and those who actually write them down daily are an additional three times more successful beyond that (2).
So what is the difference? Isn’t it just a case of semantics? Perhaps but where a resolution is a broad intent, a goal is a measurable road map of action.
Goals should be specific with set time lines and ways to measure success. For example, while I might resolve to be more active in 2020 but the more successful goal would be to commit to walking 3 times a week for 30 minutes as scheduled in my day planner.
Don’t rely on willpower, get accountable
Studies on self control show we actually have very little. Willpower research has demonstrated that those with greater perceived self control didn’t necessarily have a psychological advantage over others but rather enjoyed what they were being measured on. For example, it would be more true to say that people who were better at eating vegetables were not that way because they had better discipline but rather they legitimately liked vegetables (3).
So what do you do when you are trying to embrace something you don’t like or isn’t easy? You get accountable.
Accountability can take many forms. For some people it is an accountability partner. Perhaps it is a commitment to a group or a program. It could be as simple as writing it down in your day planner or calendar. Accountability is a constant reminder of the measurable goal you set and an opportunity to check in with your progress.
Pay for it
Who doesn’t love free stuff? We all do! However do you really value things that are free? I’m not talking about free swag or a gift from a friend. I’m talking about those intangibles that we all have access to like information, motivation, self initiative and accountability.
When you pay for something you have already established that you see value in it and when you choose to make an investment in yourself you are already holding yourself accountable to that action.
I was recently talking with our nutritionist, Allison, and she was quite open that much of the information she presents to her clients is common knowledge and readily available on the internet. When I asked her how she brought value to her clients when so much of her information could be perceived as free she explained that an investment in her services provided people with the accountability and motivation that people lacked when left to figure it out on their own. The vast majority of her clients are successful because she holds them to a higher standard than they do for themselves. The result is them achieving their goals.
Personally I choose to pay for many of the things in my life even when I could have free access to them. This includes paying ALL of my practitioners in full for their services, professional coaching, mentorship and three (yes three) fitness memberships.
Bottom line, if you are serious about something, you are more likely to be successful if you make an investment in yourself.
Start small and gain momentum
I love ambition however sometimes our goals can be so big or such a deviation from our norm that they can feel overwhelming. Many of our clients decide at this time of year that they are going to get serious about their exercise regime. They purchase an expensive gym package (I did say you should pay for it after all) and for the first week they go everyday for an hour. At the end of that first week, their bodies are sore, they aren’t instantaneously beach ready and they realize the time and energy commitment required for the shift. Ultimately they become part of the 75% of people who give up on their resolutions by February.
Now I’m not suggesting you abandon audacious and bold goals but you might want to break it down a little. You might be better to brainstorm all of the steps that could contribute to your big goal and pick one actionable task that brings you a little closer to it. If your goal is to overhaul your diet, perhaps you give up one or two things instead of diving head first into veganism. If you want to start to meditate, maybe you start with 5 minutes on a work break before you consider getting up at 5 am every day for an hour long session.
The point is that success begets success. Each positive change creates the momentum you need to carry you through to a larger goal. Small steps can make a big impact.
Strive to win the war, not the battle
We all slip. We all fail. It is inevitable. Rachel Hollis says “failure is the price of admission to your greatness.” Unfortunately too many of us throw in the towel on the challenges that are meant to give us the strength to reach the larger goal and assume that speaks to our potential.
Commit to failing the same way you commit to your goal. Commit to being kind to yourself along the way. Commit to learning and self analysis instead of quitting. The only true failure comes in giving up. Everything else is just readying you for the main event.
If you want to create meaningful change, stop playing the short game.
Do you need help achieving your goals in 2020?
Our team is here to give you the expert help you need to keep you accountable to your own success. Whether this is your year to finally optimize your health, to improve your nutrition or to get strong and fit, Body Co provides all the services you need to accomplish your goal under one roof.
We help people build the bodies and health they need, to live the life they want. Book today and don’t let another year go by where you don’t realize your resolutions.
Melanie Stevens Sutherland, Clinic Director & Senior Orthopaedic and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist
Melanie is a graduate of McMaster University and brings 17 years of experience as a senior physiotherapist to Body Co. She has enjoyed a long tenure working with active populations at prestigious sport medicine clinics. Past clients include Provincial, National and Olympic level athletes as well as members of the National Football League, the Canadian Football League, the Ontario Hockey League, the American Hockey League, the National Lacrosse League and Major League Soccer.
Following the birth of her own children, Melanie developed a strong interest in women’s health. She has taken specialized courses in pelvic floor physiotherapy and women’s nutrition. She is passionate about helping women find strength and confidence in their post-natal bodies following pregnancy and delivery.
If you would like to work with me directly, you can book an appointment in my schedule online.