Every January, millions of Americans, softened and bloated by weeks of holiday cheer and excess, descend on elliptical trainers, treadmills, and exercise bikes, sparked by the sudden charge of a New Year, a fresh start, and a list of new personal goals ambitious enough to launch a million people to Mars before the first of February.
But then February First comes and all those gyms across America are lonely deserts again; the sweat and resolve of new January long dried from the track of all those empty treadmills.
According to statistics, only 8% of us ever keep these New Year’s Resolutions, which means that the realization of our annual goals has about the same probability of success as gaining acceptance into MIT. Our kids would be more likely to get into Georgetown or Duke.
So why, in a country that loves winning and the perfume of success, do we set ourselves up for the acrid stink of failure and disappointment? Why not cancel the New Year’s Resolution the way a network quickly cancels a poor performing television pilot?
As Homer Simpson once told Bart, “if something is too hard to do, then it’s not worth doing.”
But then again, who would ever take advice from Homer Simpson, as lovable as he is?
The problem isn’t simply with making New Year’s Resolutions, but with failing or falling short so often every year with those resolves.
Maybe it is about making achievable resolutions and then achieving them.
Let’s take the old exercise resolution. Or the “I want to drop 50 pounds in 40 days so I look good at my 25 year High School Reunion” resolution. What if we changed that resolution to the “I want to spend at least 30-40 minutes getting exercise every day.” Exercising 30-40 minutes is a much more realistic and attainable commitment.
And let’s also consider the reunion idea too. Nothing can motivate the human mind and body quite like social pressure and appearances. So why not use it to our advantage? While getting ready for the High School reunion, why not unite first or team up with a local running group or hiking club? Every study suggests that we are more likely to stay fit and maintain our fitness program when we are part of a team and not simply flying solo. Also, by joining a team, we get to network with like-minded individuals, and we gain all the motivation and camaraderie that develops from team fitness programs.
In the greater Los Angeles area alone, there are innumerable local fitness groups like the San Fernando Valley Hiking Club, Fit LIFE Long Beach, and the aptly titled Reseda New Year’s Resolution Free Fit-Club Meetup.
All of these organizations are local and easy to join. By simply clicking on social fitness websites like fitness.meetup.com, you can easily find the perfect fitness team in your neighborhood to make your New Year’s Resolutions more than an annual dream, but a daily reality.
And when you do achieve your New Year’s fitness Resolution in the company of your new friends, please call us at Mobile Illumination to help plan the New Year’s Victory Party.