You set a New Year’s resolution for 2022 and you’re probably going to fail if you haven’t already. I’m not being mean, I’m just being real. Statistically, out of those who make a resolution, 25% have given up after the first week. After two weeks, 29% are quitters and at 6 weeks only 64% are still going strong. At 6 months, only 46% of people are still committed to the goal they set for the year. This means that without the right methodology, your progress is likely to dwindle as the year progresses. I’m going to tell you all that I know about how to NOT to fail your 2022 New Years resolution!
“By the end of the year, 91% of people have given up leaving a measly 9% of successful resolutioners.”
I could sit here and talk about things like weakness, commitment or laziness, but in the last decade of hitting goals with professional athletes, and the general population, I have found that the person isn’t always the problem. Usually, it’s the goal.
I often tell clients that if you walk 10 miles into the forest, you’ll have to walk 10 miles to get back out. What I mean is, if you’ve spent 5 years gaining 100 lbs., you better be mentally prepared to spend 5 years losing it and the rest of your life keeping it off. Fortunately, with the appropriate effort I would never expect a 100 LB weight loss to take 5 years but those mentally prepared to do so will be far better off. The secret lies in the details. What you need to do is break your goal down into some realistic steps and make sure that you give yourself the opportunity for small wins along the way. This positive reinforcement is pivotal in your ability to truly buy into the process. Let’s take a look at an example.
On December 31st, 2021, you make the goal of losing 100 LBS in 2022. As most do, you start strong in January and notice a quick drop in weight. By the end of the month, you’ve lost 17 LBS! Rock on! In February things slow down, and you lose 9 lbs. By the end of March, you lose 3 lbs. and in the month of April you gained 2 lbs. bringing you to a total of 27 LBS lost in 4 months. You become discouraged because you didn’t account for this fluctuation in your process.
You might’ve tried just as hard each month, but you returned lower results and this began a negative reinforcement cycle. You lost a lot of weight at first which slowed down for two months and gained weight in month 4. At this rate, 100 lbs. for the year is unlikely to happen. You give up. Your main problem? You focused on the end goal so heavily, without creating small goals and a process, which made it seem farther away and your motivation dwindled. YOU LOST 27 LBS IN 4 MONTHS. If this 4-month average continued for the year you will have lost 108 lbs. The problem is your goal was focused on an outcome and not focused on the process.
Here’s a strategy I use with my clients. At the end of every year, I ask my clients to make a list of 5-10 things they want to improve upon in the coming year. These are the outcomes they wish to achieve. Along with each item I ask them to list 1-2 processes they plan to implement to reach each goal.
Is your goal to lose more weight? Then list things like,
” …going to take 10,000 steps each day.”
“…going to limit my alcohol intake by 2 drinks when I go out.”
“… going to consume full servings of protein and vegetables at every meal.”
We aren’t focused on the goals. We are focused on the processes of achieving them – the daily and regular choices that keep us moving in the right direction. In fact, sometimes I even recommend you erase the outcomes and leave only a list of the processes. This way, if we set an unrealistic goal for a 12-month timeline, by the end of the year we should only be able to look back and grade ourselves on the commitment to the processes.
Maybe you didn’t achieve your, “Make $50,000 more.” (outcome) goal, but you did “Create residual income.” (process) and “Invest 20% of my savings account.” (process) so you are a lot closer to your goal than you were the year before. You get to celebrate these wins with even more emphasis and it guides your next goal setting session.
I truly believe in this process because when I look back and remember my 8 wins and 2 losses as a professional fighter, I know why I was successful in some bouts and unsuccessful in others. To this day, I remember my mentality going into each fight and during each fight. There were 8 fights in which I focused entirely on inflicting as much harm as possible on my opponents (process) and 2 fights I focused entirely on winning (outcome).
Those 8 wins were because of the small, quickly measurable wins that I accomplished with each strike and the cumulative effect of them in the end. When I just wanted to win, and I didn’t trust the process, I missed the smaller important decisions and I didn’t get that compounding effect. Now, as a husband, father, and coach my life revolves around creating and implementing processes that lead to better outcomes.
So here’s the bottom line. If you have set goals for 2022, I encourage you to list the processes to achieving each of these goals and erase the outcomes. Break every large goal down into daily tasks that are realistic for you to accomplish. If you’ve already given up on your goal, I want you to start over and make a new list. At the end of this month there will still be 91% of the year left and that’s enough time to make some serious positive changes. Re-evaluate, create a process and get working today – don’t lose your motivation because of a hiccup.
Author: Tyler Minton
Tyler “Melee” Minton is one of the most recognized Nutrition Coaches in the UFC. Having worked with hundreds of professional mixed martial artists including many world champions, Tyler’s coaching services are sought after by professional athletes and the general population alike. Applying his education and experience, Tyler promotes a no-nonsense, science-based approach to nutrition and it’s why he’s part of the PERFECT Sports Advisory Board. You can reach Tyler at his websites TylerMintonNutrition.com and EthosNutritionCoaching.com.