Ways Your New Year’s Resolution Can Happen and Mean Something

Hiker on cliff
Average read time 2 min

We could not let it go by. Warning, this is not much about hiking. But its New Years. Every year I hear it. So do you. I’m going to lose weight, stop smoking, go to the gym, spend more time away from the office, spend less money, etc. We’ve all done it.

The good news is that if you made a resolution (commitment) you are more likely to meet it than someone who hasn’t. If you make it through 6 weeks the odds are that you’ll continue it for a while.

The not-so-good news is that most people won’t.

So how can you make and stick with your resolution?

Make it count

Do something important to you. If your goal is to get to the gym more often ask yourself, why? What’s the payoff? Is it to lose weight, feel better, not be short of breath, or play with your grandkids? Why does it matter? If it’s just “to go to the gym”, you’ll quit pretty quick. Use a little mental contrasting to help to commit to a goal.

Speaking of counting it seems that goals that are acquisitional rather than inhibiting are better and longer them thinking is better than short-term (find out why).

Make it specific

Never become a slave to a goal they can be dark. But goals are important and as stated above will need a “pay-off”. Get specific. Instead of “going back to the gym” for 20 reasons, pick two or three and start there. For example,

For example:

  • I want to feel more energy
  • I want to improve my endurance/strength
  • I want to be able to start hiking in a month (you fill it the I want to)

Notice, weight loss is not there, because that requires a greater lifestyle change. So this leads us to…

Make it realistic

Setting realistic goals are important, there is nothing worse from a goals perspective than making it unrealistic. Saying that I’m going back to the gym to “lose weight” and not recognizing that long-term weight loss requires more, will be frustrating.

However, getting back to the gym can certainly, increase your strength/endurance, help you feel more energy, and even improve your fitness to start hiking. These motivations support your goal as they are more likely to give you success at the start, which is where you need it most.

Make it social (kinda)

If your goal is to get to the gym more maybe do it with a friend. BUT DON’T TELL THEM ABOUT YOUR GOALS. Someone you can exercise with. A person who will make it enjoyable. By the way, it can be a group of people. For those of you, that are inclined to hike, outdoors groups that sponsor hikes are great for this.

Make it altruistic

Doing something positive for someone or something is very satisfying (you may even live longer). People who do things that are altruistic generally stick with it. Using the goal of getting back to the gym, what you are really looking to do is increase your physical activity. Can you do this and make a difference? How about maintaining a trail at a park? Coaching a sport? Working with a group on environmental projects like tracking invasive species in your local forests. There are tons of ways you can do something for a cause and be physically active.