New Years Resolutions are a load of crap.
There. I Said it.
For the last month, I have been flooded with the casual pun about “2020” and how hindsight is 2019.
Or, how about the one where everyone says “2020 is going to be the best year of their lives?”
Yeah, I heard that in 2018, and 2017…
I have had people say that 2019 was the worst year of their life.
I have had people say that 2019 was the absolute best year of their life.
And then I have the circle that I have chosen to surround myself who have analyzed 2019 just like they have every year of their life.
- What were the highlights?
- Where can I improve?
- What commitments can I make to ensure I don’t make the same mistakes?
However, among each of these responses, there is a subtle, yet concerning narrative that continues to play out in our culture.
That narrative is the biggest lie we are sold.
That THIS year is going to be the best year ever…
Now you find yourself asking the wonderful question….”why?”
Capitalizing on momentum
Who has totally splurged on the season between Thanksgiving and New Years?
I’ll be the first to admit – I sure did, and it is not the first time nor the last time that I plan on doing it.
The parties, the food, the atmosphere – there is something incredibly special about it.
Yet, in this season, there is also the conversation that life is going to change on January 1.
On January 1 I am suddenly going to:
- Start working out five days a week ( lets be honest – the last time you did that was probably in high school).
- Follow the latest fad diet (last year it was Keto, I wonder what 2020 will bring us)
- Give up drinking during the week (that is until the first networking event of the year)
- Read 10 pages a day (they still make books?)
- Spend 45 minutes outside (but I can’t binge netflix while I do that)
But wait, weren’t these the same goals I had last year?
They may not be the exact goals you have, but you get the point.
You know who else gets the point?
The Health and Fitness Industry
They know you just got the latest Bluetooth headphones to pump your “New Year, New You” spotify playlist through.
Those new Lululemon Leggings are going to look good in the mirror.
Don’t forget the Rock’s latest shoe (they are awesome – I’ll admit I have a pair).
All to wear to the gym you just joined because they waived their annual membership fee just for you.
This is how the health industry starts to capitalize on us and our New Years Resolution.
They know they have momentum because almost all of us are going to try to recover from the holiday season.
How do we recover? A majority of us believe it starts with a New Years Resolution of a revolutionary diet plan from “Slim 4 Life” and joining “24 hour fitness.”
Yet, by the 15th day of January, we are back to the same lifestyle we had been living prior to January 1st.
Why most people quit their resolutions by January 15th
To be honest, because they were a load of crap to begin with. (I know mine were).
Most were an attempt to get more likes on the social profile of Instagram or Facebook just for a quick feel good.
Heck, that was me in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and most recently 2019.
You can look at January 1st of 2019 on my profile and see that I joined the rest of the world with a resolution.
The Arbonne 30 day challenge.
And for 30 days I was chasing the likes, the followers, the dopamine dump every time someone interacts with a post I had about completing this challenge.
It was exhausting!
By day 31, I was back to my old ways of eating and drinking.
So…I decided to change the way I viewed goal setting in my life and really use the remainder of 2019 to evaluate my relationship first and foremost with God, second with myself, third with my wife and kids and finally with the world of social media.
It took me 9 months to evaluate this and I arrived at my conclusion right before Christmas 2019.
Over the holiday break, I took the time to reflect on my social media usage.
You might have seen a Facebook live video at the end of 2019 where I virtually challenged my entire following to turn off social media and turn on human connection.
I took the time to turn off the social media and really check in with my family and the human connection part of life.
And let me tell you, damn it felt good.
It also allowed me to realize why most people, myself included, quit their resolutions and live in the comfortable cycle they are used to.
How to fix the New Years Hoax.
Over my 9 month period of self reflection, I was challenged by my mentor (I don’t think he knows it) Andy Frisella to accomplish a challenge called 75 hard. (You can find on The MFCEO Podcast #290 or search #75hard).
As a leader in the health industry, he was making a point that many of us live a rather distracted life.
I 100% agree with that statement. (just turn on the screen time app and see how much time you actually spend surfing the social media platforms – mine was an embarrassing 4 hours a day).
He sought to challenge us to do a list of incredibly simple tasks for 75 Days straight.
- Drink 1 Gallon of Water
- Follow a Diet
- Two work out a day, 45 minutes outside (regardless of weather), 45 minutes inside
- No alcohol or cheat meals
- Take Selfie
- Read 10 pages of a business or self improvement book
Sounds pretty straight forward doesn’t it?
Well – It was September 1st and my wife and I were expecting a baby November 15th (do the math, it’s exactly 75 days).
I figured what the hell, I might as well give this a shot.
Another “resolution” right.
This challenge was designed to test you as a person and to really see if you could change your life.
It is amazing to see the number of lies you tell yourself about accomplishing any one of these tasks on your list.
- I dont have enough time
- I did 30 minutes, that counts right
- It was just 1 glass
- I saved my macros so I could eat a pizza
- It was just a cookie
- It’s _____(insert any weather condition) so I can’t do my outside workout
Funny – because these are most of the excuses we use as to why we need to make New Year’s Resolutions.
These are the exact excuses that we embrace in our life that lead us down the path to our current state of expression of health.
These are the reasons why people quit their New Year’s Resolutions.
That is until you learn that they are just that…excuses.
In the journey of 75 days, I learned that your mind is way more powerful than you know.
The default setting of our body is protection from discomfort.
It will do anything it can to convince you that your goals at not worth it because they force you to grow.
And to battle that, the ONLY option you have is to face your challenges as they come to you.
These could be:
- second by second
- minute by minute
- hour by hour
- day by day
If you look at the challenge or the goal as being 75 days, you will quit.
You will give up just like you give up your New Years Resolution because it makes you uncomfortable.
But if you look at it as “What do I need to do today to move my life forward towards my goal” you will succeed.
Will it be easy, no, because anything worth doing is never easy.
Will it be worth it? Absolutely.
So, how do you beat the New Years Hoax?
How do you finally stop being a statistic who gives up your commitments and goes back to your default way of life.
How do you “Win the Day“.
It is quite simple.
The Solution to Resolutions
First, make a list of 5 tasks you have to do daily.
Second, get a notebook and write out 75 days.
Third, on each day, write down your list of 5 tasks you have to do
Fourth, track these tasks daily.
NOTE: if you fail to complete any of the tasks on your lists, you start back over at Day 1.
Fifth, when you hit day 75, celebrate your accomplishment and recognize that you have just started the transformation process to helping you become the best version of yourself.
This is what Andy Frisella refers to as a power list, and when these 5 tasks become daily habits, you know you have progressed.
Now…are resolutions important in life – yes!
Do they have to happen on New Years? – Absolutely not.
My biggest resolution started on September 1, 2019 when I embarked upon the journey of 75 Hard.
When will yours begin?