Another year, another calorie-filled holiday season, and another shot at slaying those New Year’s Resolutions! I just figured the generations before us created New Year’s Resolutions as a result of feeling guilty after an over-indulgent holiday. In reality, the origins of New Year’s Resolutions are rooted 4,000 years ago in Babylon. The ancient Babylonians pledged their allegiance to their gods in a 11-day festival celebrating the Nile flooding and crops renewing. They believed pledging their allegiance and repaying their debts would bring them good luck in the following year.
Julius Caesar is responsible for first changing the calendar year to begin January 1st, with widespread adoption later from Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 with the Gregorian calendar. The Romans named January after Janus, the two-faced god who symbolized looking back on the past and forward into the future.
That’s deep, and that’s how we essentially arrived at today’s resolutions: we look physically and retrospectively into the mirror asking ourselves what we did and more importantly what we could have done better. I think we can all agree the paradigm shift from pledging to do better for others to pledging to do better for ourselves is a positive one. Change starts and ends with you.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, inspires me more than someone telling me I can’t. But staying motivated and getting all jacked up on inspiration will only take you so far. Waking up January 1st ready to slay the world is not enough, because sadly the odds for success are not in your favor. Research shows that 77% of resolutions make it a week and 46% make it six months. In the end, only 9.2% of people will fulfill their resolutions. Additionally, research done by the University of London suggests it takes 66 days to completely break or set a new habit. What can you do today to rise above the excuses and stay driven in 2020?
Defining your goal, and how to measure it, is critically important. Your resolution should be for a positive and sustainable change. Rather than something broad like “Go to the gym” think in specific terms like “30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of lifting 3 days a week.”
Visualize any potential roadblocks and develop your strategy to overcome them (here is an article on Attacking Your Excuses). If you are setting a goal of running a marathon, you should have a daily, weekly, and monthly workout plan to stick to. If you are looking to pay off debt, you should set weekly goals that will incrementally bring you closer to your resolution. Seeing measurable progress will only add fuel to your fire in 2020!
Stop coasting, start driving. I get it, the easiest day to do something that you don’t want to do today, is tomorrow. Procrastination is a slippery slope; the longer you put off starting your journey, the more intimidating that mountain in front of you becomes. If you are looking to read twelve books in 2020 and don’t start until November, you are far more likely to throw in the towel and start thinking about how 2021 will be different. It won’t. It starts with you.
Every day is a battle you either choose to win, or don’t. Enjoy and appreciate the small victory’s, like one more day closer to your resolution or one more run in the books. Your resolution should be about enjoying the journey not fantasizing about the destination… You are far more likely to achieve success if you keep your head down, grind, and find joy in the process. The results will come.
As I said earlier, I’m all for turning negativity into fuel and I know many people are best motivated by other people’s opinions. With that being said, the only opinion in this world that truly matters is the man in the mirror’s. He and only he truly knows your story, knows your struggles, and will be present for both the grind and the finish line. Challenge yourself, you may be amazed by how much drive you’ve had all along.
Taylor J. Ford
PS: Studies show not just making a resolution but also sharing it will elevate your chances of sticking with it. Share your resolutions using #StayDriven and we will highlight you in our Instagram stories to cheer you on. We will be randomly selecting winners with 60 day supplies of Mdrive, which is backed with our 60 day guarantee which conveniently aligns with the 66 days it takes to establish a new habit!
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