One month down. Wouldn’t it be great to say that we are all one month closer to our new dream?
According to a University of Scranton report, 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. A small percentage—8 percent of us, to be exact—can make the claim that they’ve advanced on or achieved their goals, while the rest of us tend to tuck our chins, puff our chests and proclaim it’s a new day, and we’ll be more focused and more disciplined—and definitely more motivated—than ever.
Sadly, with determination alone as our strategy, just 8 percent of people achieve their yearly goals. At that rate, we will be back where we started again next month. So what does that 8 percent of the population have that the rest of us don’t?
First, they have clarity. They know what they want, and they are completely committed to the outcome. They have a deep attachment to the dream, so they’re willing to tolerate the pain that they may experience along the way.
They are also highly creative in their strategies to move closer to their goals day by day, no matter what obstacles the day may bring. From the outside, this looks like motivation and discipline, but it takes more than those admirable qualities to find time anyway for a workout, when a meeting runs long or the school’s just asked you to come get your sick first-grader.
Our members who are really clear about why they’re pursuing health and fitness strategize what to do to reach their goals—and get creative about how they follow that strategy—are the ones who stay on track with their goals and seem to find it easy to make health and fitness a way of life. They don’t have more free time or energy than the rest of us, although those are benefits of improved nutrition and fitness regimens. Instead, they are creative about how they fit their workouts into their routines and how they ritualize their habits to enrich their lives.
In her book “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast,” author Laura Vanderkam writes that successful people get creative in their approach to building habits that lead to happier, more productive lives, despite the pressures of their busy schedules and the demands of their personal lives. They take control of parts of their day and treat them as sacred time that they protect.
Clarity and creativity tie directly to your workout routine as well. It’s easy to lose interest in the same old same old workout that you’ve been half-heartedly showing up to do for the last year. Get a new pair of shoes or workout gear, be bold and try on some new moves—even if it’s just taking class on different days, or running a different route on your morning 3K. University of Boulder research shows and neuroscientists teach that novelty fires up our brain and engages more of our physiology and, in the end, leads to more and often surprising results.
If you think about it, creativity requires action: There’s nothing to work with if you don’t show up at the track or the gym. And action requires clarity: You need to be clear about your dream, to figure out what you need to do to get there. With clarity and creativity in your life, come March, you just might be a month closer to your goals.
• Clearly write down your goals and include a stretch goal that really excites you but would require a new you to step forward.
• Mine your day. What is your favorite you time? Protect it and sort out how to add more movement minutes into the day. Commit to 30 days of 20 minutes (minimum) of movement activity.
• Identify four creative ways to approach your workouts. Try a new playlist; book an appointment with a trainer to learn a new core workout. Go to the gym in the evening instead of the morning, or vice versa. Stick with one of these new approaches for seven days and see if it works for you.
Share your tips and ideas with us on Twitter (@24Lifemag, #24Life). We truly want to know what’s in your 24 and how we can better serve you to live your life fully inspired.