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A New Year Beckons!

Posted Jan 07 2009 4:32pm

Happy New Year to everyone!  It’s around this time that 2 types of articles/posts begin to spring up: articles gushing with misguided overenthusiasm about setting New Year’s goals; and overly cynical posts that say something to the effect of “New Year’s goals are so worthless/I don’t believe in New Year’s goals/You’ll just end up quitting in 3 weeks anyway.”

Now, trending towards the former (hey, I am a personal trainer, after all), this much I can admit - the cynics have statistics on their side.  According to a survey by Franklin Covey, 67% of the people who make New Year’s resolutions fail before the end of January.  By Valentine’s Day, that’ll rise to 80%.

Of course, if you’re already a regular gym-goer, this is no news to you - a quick glance around on your February 22nd workout says it all.

Why is the failure rate so high for New Year’s resolutions, and what can you do to improve your chances?

It’s a trick question.  Failure rates are higher for New Year’s resolutions because more folks make them.  Here’s a real life example: ACE is the largest certification organization in the fitness industry.  Their certification test has the highest failure rate of any in the industry.   But it’s also the easiest test in the industry.  The failure rate is highest because the ACE test is taken more often than any other exam (often by the least-qualified applicants).

In other words, there’s nothing inherently treacherous about New Year’s resolutions that make them prone to failure.  But the flipside is that there’s nothing special about them that makes them easier to stick to either.

I still stand by one of my favorite frothy sentiments: If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing today. Got fitness goals worth achieving?  Then don’t wait for New Year’s, or any day.  Start.  Right now.

Posts you may find handy for goal-setting/achieving:

Making Resolutions Stick.

Rethinking Your Workout Plan.

Making Time For Exercise.

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