New Year's Resolutions

Do they work?

Just like that another year has come and gone. What a whirlwind it has been. If you’re anything like me some of your goals were beyond surpassed, some you’re still chipping away at, and some fell by the wayside. Understand that this is a normal part of life, it has a funny way of not always unfolding as planned. 

Now as we shift into the new year, many people are going to try to use this shift to tackle some of those ever elusive goals. Time to lose weight, make more money, spend more time reading, etc. For some, these resolutions may stick, but for many, these goals continue to maintain their evasive nature.

Here are my tips and tricks to set you up for success this new year, or any day for matter (more on that in a bit):

Start with your “What & Why”

For many the “what” is easy: weight loss, new personal records, a better job; it’s the “why” that can stump people. This “why” is the foundation of any goal setting. They don’t need to be anything extravagant but defining these terms will give you something tangible to reflect on when the distractions of daily life try to pull you away from them.

Make your resolution/goal S.M.A.R.T.

After you’ve defined your “What & Why” it’s time to add further clarity to your goal. This is where S.M.A.R.T. comes in, it stands for:

1. Make your goal specific (S)
2. Make your goal measurable (M)
3. Make sure the goal is attainable (A)
4. Make your goal relevant (R)
5. Make the goal time-bound (T)

The SMARTer your goals, the more easily you will be able to see progress especially when progress feels slow. I recently read a great quote from author Tim Ferriss (an idol of mine) that said “Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask.” This beautifully applies here. Make it specific and clear and you will be surprised by the real progress you make.

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Chase improvement, NOT perfection

No matter how SMART your “what” or how strong your “why”, there will be days where you will deviate off course. Hear me out, it’s okay, even healthy to allow some leeway in your pursuits. Welcome to the human race, we aren’t perfect and that’s part of the beauty of life. When you steer off path, what matters more is not the course correction itself, but how you go about it. If you punish yourself, you only hurt yourself and get no closer to your goal (trust me, I speak from experience). Your better bet is to be loving and forgiving to yourself. You may be surprised how getting back in the saddle with grace and self-compassion will help you bounce back faster and stronger than before.

Start your resolutions whenever you want!

If starting on the path towards your goals aligns well with the start of the new year then awesome! Get after it and enjoy it! But a new year only comes around every twelve months. What happens if you want to start a resolution and it’s July 23rd? Or a Wednesday instead of a Monday? Well if you’ve outlined your goals and why you’re pursuing them, the start date doesn’t fundamentally matter. You can make a change any day you want!

Lastly, I’ll finish off with two quotes to keep in mind while chasing your goals:

“Show me you can be consistent then we can talk about being heroic.” -Kelly Starrett

“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” -Elbert Hubbard

Your goals/resolutions don’t have to move mountains, you just need to take one step in the right direction all the while having fun doing it.

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About the Author

Nick Drago

Nick Drago

Nick is LIV Athletic Coach and lifelong athlete. He has a passion for inspiring both youth and adults to live active lives. Nick graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology and plans to pursue a career in medicine. In the meantime, he is enjoying his time working with the amazing team and community here at LIV Athletic.

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