It’s April – Do You Know Where Your New Year’s Resolutions Are?

Like seasonal migratory patterns of some animal species, there’s a yearly and familiar event that takes place at my local 24-Hour Fitness right about late December.  Faces you’ve never seen before.  Sales desks lined with prospective customers.  All weight benches and machines taken.  People standing in line to jump on a treadmill.  Waiting list at the front desk for the next Spin or Zumba class.

Then March hits.

Suddenly the strange faces are gone, sales desks are empty and there is no waiting for your favorite cardio/weight machine or workout class.

What happened?

At least some of these people made it into March.  Statistics show that we will break or fail on more than 80% of our resolutions come the end of January.  Some of these reasons are:

  • Motivation:  Motivation is a fleeting emotion that eventually fades.  Something fires us up, we jump in, realize it’s harder than we thought and then stop.  The motivation evaporates.  Watching the UFC on tv is really fun when you’re sitting on the couch with your buddies.  I thought taking a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) class would be fun.  Getting your face punched in by a 20-something MMA fighter wanna-be is pretty de-motivating.  Needless to say, I didn’t last long in that class.
  • TOO BIG Goals:  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with thinking and dreaming big…but it has to be somewhat realistic in order for your brain to wrap around and accept the idea.  By the first week of January, you can’t drop the 20 pounds you gained during the holidays eating sugar cookies and drinking eggnog.  Your Hollywood screenplay or great American novel probably isn’t going to be picked up within a week of it being sent out.  You can’t have $1 million saved by the end of the year (well, most of us, anyway).  At some point your brain says, “He/she has got to be kidding themselves.  They can’t be serious.”
  • I Forgot:  January 2nd rolls around and life goes on.  The kids go back to school.  You go back to work.  The credit card bill from last year’s gifts need to be paid.  Your pants don’t fit right from the weight you gained over the holiday.  Resolutions?  They fall by the wayside.  We say “I’ll think about them later” and then move on.

Get Back In The Game! 

The year is still young.  Plenty of time to make 2012 a great year.  Here are some “R’s” to get us all rolling again:

  • Re-visit: What were some of those resolutions that you put down at the end of last year?  Strip them down and ask yourself: Do I still really want to do this?  Is this unrealistic?  Do I need to make some adjustments?  If your goal was to run a marathon in June and you don’t know where your running shoes are, chances are you’ll need to re-visit and…
  • Revise: The great thing about goals is they can be revised.  Nothing needs to be set in stone.  If the time frame that you wrote down looks unrealistic, revise the date – but take immediate action to start moving you forward.  This sends a signal to your brain saying, “I’m serious about this.”
  • Re-think: The most valuable thing I’ve learned about goal-setting is to simply sit down in a quiet place and identify what you really want.  What is your ideal or perfect situation?  At the end of 2012, what do you want to look back on with joy and satisfaction?  Ask yourself: What do I need to start doing now?  Start from there and work backwards.
  • Re-write: If you need to start fresh then start fresh.  Re-write what you had down at the beginning of the year.  Write down some new goals.  If you need help, there are a ton of resources on goal-setting out there.  Some of my favorites are Brian Tracy’s Focal Point and Darren Hardy’s Compound Effect.
  • Resolve: Decide now that at the end of the year you’re going to look back on 2012 and say “Man, what a fantastic year!  I’m proud of what I accomplished and can’t wait to start the New Year!”

Question: What are some New Year’s resolutions that you have added, removed or revised?