New Year, New You – How To Stick With Your Resolutions

We are not huge fans of “New Years Resolutions” here at CrossFit ÆVITAS. Why? Because we believe that the journey toward self-improvement should be an all-the-time thing, not something dictated by a date on the calendar.

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However, in the spirit of the season (and for your reference any time you decide to make a goal for yourself), here are some of our tips to achieve the goals you set for yourself.

First, some statistics for our 2014 resolutions (From StatisticsBrain.com):

NOTE: These are not meant to scare you out of making resolutions, just some things to think about

% of Americans who usually make resolutions: 45%

% of people who are successful: 8%

Most popular type of resolution: Self-improvement/education-related

% of resolutions maintained through the first week: 75%

% of resolutions maintained past 6 months: 46%

So, how do we make Resolutions (or goals, in general) that we are likely to succeed at? It starts with the type of goals we make, and then is followed by the path we take to achieve them.

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How To Make Goals – follow the SMART model!

You may or may not have heard of this method, but we’ll break it down for you. When making goals, you want to have these aspects:

Specific: “I want to improve my back squat” <- back squat is a specific movement (vs “I want to get stronger” or “I want to squat more”)

Measurable: “I want to improve my back squat 1RM by 15 lbs” <- 15lbs is the measure

Assignable: “I want to improve my back squat 1RM by 15lbs” <- clearly, this goal is assigned to yourself :)

Realistic: “I want to improve my back squat by 50 lbs” might be pretty unrealistic. however, 15lbs is a more conservative and therefore more realistic number. Always err on the side of realistic vs ambitious, or you run the risk of becoming overwhelmed and never actually getting anywhere!

Time-oriented: “I want to improve my back squat 1RM by 15lbs in 6 months” <- if you’ve made goals with us before (which every ÆVITAS Athlete has), you’ll know that setting this time-frame is important, and usually it’s better that the time is not a full year

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How To Stick With Your Goals: Plan and Execute!

Now that we know how to set goals, let’s talk a little bit about how to achieve them. This comes down to two things: making a plan, and executing on that plan! Here are our tips for both

Making A Plan

Taking the goal above, you’re probably not going to come in tomorrow and improve your back squat by 15lbs. You’ll have to first break your PR by say 5lb. Since you have a time frame in mind (6 months), maybe you break it up into mini goals of improving by a mere 5 lbs every 6-8 weeks. Sounds more doable now, right?

Also, keep in mind the statistic we stated earlier: maintaining a resolution for one week has a much higher success rate than maintaining for 6 or more months (75% vs 46%). Make smaller mini-goals, and you’re more likely to reach them one by one and be able to move on to the next!

Executing The Plan

If every 6-8 weeks you want to improve your 1RM back squat by 5lbs, you’ll need to make sure that you’re (at the very least) coming into the gym and training on a regular basis. The beauty of CrossFit is that by giving it your all in every WOD (whether we back squat that day or not), you’ll be getting stronger and more capable.

To take the execution a step further, you’ll have to not only plan to come in and work regularly, but you’ll also either have to set aside some extra time for back-squat specific work and mobility (which the coaches can help you with), or put in extra work on squat days to help you improve your 1RM (again, our coaches are here to help!)

Making a plan is first and foremost, and a plan is only as good as its execution. So master both, and you’ve got all you need to be successful with your New Year’s Resolutions, as well as every other goal you set for yourself!

Karen Southwick