Last year, my New Year’s Resolution was to drink only black coffee in the morning. Why? I guess because I thought I was consuming too much fat and sugar in the previous holiday season, as I drowned my coffee in egg nog (if you know, you know). It lasted for a couple weeks, because black coffee is gross. As I reflected back on why I couldn’t stick with it, something hit me: I really didn’t care whether I succeeded or not in that resolution. Why was I doing it? Because I wanted to cut calories? There are other ways to do that, as I explored and rationalized my way out of this plan. And why was cutting calories important to me? As I reflected on this question, I realized… it wasn’t. Not eating/drinking as many calories could be helpful in losing weight, but that wasn’t one of my goals. If anything, I wanted to add weight and get stronger. So, why was I taking on this challenge? I don’t really know…
To create deeply-rooted, long-lasting resolutions, you must begin with WHY. Why am I doing this? Why is this important to me – so important that I am committing to changing a big part of my life around it? If your answer to this question is, “it’s actually not important,” or “my wife thinks I should do it,” then it’s not going to stick. The moment you don’t want to do it anymore and your old habits become more appealing, the platform of motivation will crumble under its weak reason.
My WHY for most big endeavors I take on revolves around my desire to stay relevant and believable in my coaching practice. “Do hard things,” he says. But does he?
It also comes back, during hard training sessions or when I start to second guess what I’m about to do (because it seems hard or the water is cold), to my desire to create a positive example for my two sons. I want them to know, not just through my words but through my actions, that I believe they can do great things that are beyond most people’s expectations of what is possible.
So, as you are writing down those resolutions, committing to a nutrition plan or a streak of workout days, ask yourself WHY you are doing it. Does it relate back to something you are passionate about, and so you want to inject more of that into your life? Does it relate to your overarching purpose in life, and you need to make sure you align yourself closer with that? Or is it just something that sounds cool, that everyone else is doing on Instagram?
People say that New Year’s Resolutions are worthless because they never stick. Why?