Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Don't Make Resolutions, Make Plans

It's common wisdom that most resolutions are not kept.

People in the gym business know this is certainly true in fitness. In January, the "resolutionaries" show up a lot the first week, less the second, less the third, and then finally start to trail off completely by February. Their annual contracts stay, however, and provide income at no cost to the gym.

Why is that?

The problem with resolutions is that they are wishes, not plans.

When you say "I'm going to lose weight" or even "I'm going to exercise three times a week" you are making a wish. It's a desire.

You need to make the resolution into a plan.

It becomes a plan when it becomes specific.

"I will work out 3 days" a week is not a plan. "I will work out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 8-9 am with my trainer" is a plan.

"I'm going to lose weight" is a wish. "I'm going to eat according to the following meal plan, and when I cheat or miss I'll get right back on it. I've already bought the food for it and tossed what's out of my diet forever" - that's a plan.

The problem with wishes is that you don't define the concrete step needed to get there. And even if you do, lacking a specific time and date it doesn't matter so much if you push it off. This is why people doing "get out the vote" ask you if you'll vote for their candidate, and what time you plan to vote on Election Day. They know from experience that if you set a time, you're making the desire ("Vote for president") into a plan ("Vote for president at 9 am on my way home from dropping my kid at school.")

Plans are much tighter, much more specific.

If you write "Gym workout, 8-9am" in your daytimer for January 2nd, and you don't go, you already broke your plans.

So don't make a general resolution to do something this coming year.

Make a plan.

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