Opinion: Join the Ten Percent

The new year is upon us and so are the endless “new year’s resolutions” that people are so eager to pursue. These days, I feel like everyone picks a resolution to work on just for the sake of it. According to a survey, at the end of this year around 90% of people will feel like they were unsuccessful in achieving their resolutions. No exact figure exists for this statistic, but I think we can all agree that most resolutions often end in failure.

Not surprisingly, many of these resolutions are unattainable and are so ambitious, they actually result in a lack of focus throughout the year. The first mistake resolutioners make is not being SMART about their resolutions. You hear, “ I want to lose weight”, “ I want a new job”, or even “ I want to make more money”. I’m not saying these are bad ideas, but there is nothing (s)pecific, (m)easurable, or (t)ime based about those resolutions. 3 out of the 5 SMART principles weren’t used. We all need to start by re-evaluating our resolutions, or at least think about them more consciously.

Sticking with the SMART concept, resolutioners sometimes bite off more than they can chew when picking something they want. A stands for achievable and R stands for realistic, perhaps the two most important letters of the acronym. Problems occur if goals are too lofty and fantastical. Motivation is lost, you feel like a failure, and you revert back to the old you.

To be in the 10% of people who meet their resolutions, pick something that fulfills all the SMART categories: something specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive. Make it something you can build off of for new goals. That’s what this whole thing is about. Becoming your best self throughout the year, because lofty goals don’t get met overnight. One quick failure can ruin your year by tomorrow. Don’t let that happen.

Personally, I think that reflection is more important than resolution. Fitness and self-improvement is an iterative process. Nothing is ever fully “resolved”; you just get better. What went well, what went wrong, and why? What can you do differently? How do you see the year going? Keep these in mind and take control by being disciplined with this approach.

Take control of the New Year and become a better version of yourself throughout the year, not a new you.

by Ross Curtis