If people stuck to their New Year’s resolutions from year to year, it’s entirely conceivable that we’d be living in some sort of New Year’s-fever induced utopia where your local gym was a skyscraper and health food stores rivalled Walmart. The proof that New Year’s resolutions are, more often than not, a sham, is the fact that gyms make more money from people that don’t use their membership than from people who do. Can you guess when gyms are busiest signing up new members?
The greatest design flaw of New Year’s resolutions are in the the first two words. By attaching a resolution to nothing more than a time and a vague feeling that things could be better, you’re making your resolution for all the wrong reasons. You’re doing it because that’s what you’re told to do. You’re setting yourself up to fail. People who can’t maintain their New Year’s resolutions are the same people who tell themselves that they’ll drop a habit in the future to make themselves feel better about doing something they know they shouldn’t be doing in the present. When it comes time to take action, they crack.
Another big part of the reason people’s New Year’s resolutions fall flat are because they’re often too ambitious or lofty. At BALLPRK, we’re all about ambition, but we also know that being ambitious means knowing the correct steps to getting you where you want to be. It doesn’t mean running around blindly hoping you end up in the right place.
This year, instead of making your resolution something as radical as entirely dropping a bad habit you’ve been lugging around for years, or instating a new habit you know you won’t immediately enjoy, we suggest doing things differently. This year, we challenge you to resolve to learn before acting. If you’re resolution is to go to the gym two more times a week, we challenge you to find someone that goes to the gym every day and asking them how they got to that point, what they get out of it, and how they keep it up. Resolve to get informed, not to act blindly.
By making your resolution learning-based and not action-based, you create a sturdy foundation on which to change behaviour. Your reasons for working hard become clear, and that clarity helps guide you through the tough times. Apart from keeping you motivated, learning technique before developing habits means avoiding a lot of wasted time and energy down the line. Think of learning a new movement with bad technique: if you learn it wrong the first time around, you have to work twice as hard relearning it correctly.
Put your best foot forward by speaking to someone that’s been where you want to be, and take the right steps going forward. Remember that New Year’s is a time to celebrate your accomplishments, not a time to set yourself up for lofty goals you’ll bemoan not keeping this time next year.