We are only 11 days out from 2017, which means that in about a week and a half, millions of people are going to resolve to get fit, eat less, run more, and/or do something that they've never done before to become a better version of themselves. Many will fail, most within the very first month of the year.
So what is the secret of success for those who do succeed? In the past, we've found that we are much more successful in our resolutions when we have adequate support and are held accountable for our actions. Here are 5 hacks to slay your new year's resolutions OnlyAtoms-style, be they athletic or cranial...
1. TAKE A CLASS
Is your New Year's resolution to learn to code so you can get a better job? To learn Portuguese so you can talk to that cute Brazilian grad student in your run club? To wean yourself off Seamless and start cooking? Signing up to take a class will force you to set aside time in your schedule to hone your desired new skills set and will give you direct access to an instructor who will help you master the new material, especially in those moments of frustration and struggle. Bonus? Taking a class will also force you to meet new people outside of your usual social circles- a great opportunity for new friendships and relationships, especially if your goal is to meet someone (you know what we mean) in 2017. For coding, try General Assembly. Fluent City is our go-to for learning new languages, and for cooking we like to check out whatever Groupon deals are going on.
2. SIGN UP FOR A RUNNING RACE
Obviously, this is most applicable to running-related New Year's resolutions, but it has so much potential for collateral resolutions and goals. If you want to run a marathon, or try a Ragnar-style race, or even do your first ultramarathon, the best way to make yourself train for it is to just sign up and start training. Do you also have a New Year's resolution to go to an exotic place you've never visited before? Kill two birds with one stone and pick your race one of those awesome places you're always talking about going and make it a runcation. You can explore the new city a few days before or after your race, and during the race you'll get to experience your destination in a truly unique way. Take it a step further and combine it with your resolution to learn Portuguese, and pick a destination race in a Portuguese-speaking country! You'll have extra motivation to learn the new language and train for your race. Sometimes the training part can seem boring after a few weeks, but we've got another hack for that...
3. JOIN AN ORGANIZATION
Got a New Year's resolution to meet new people, train for that destination race, lose weight, learn to salsa dance, or get a better job in the new year? Join a group or an organization full of people who want to do those things too! Being around other people with similar goals will help keep you motivated- when you're about to falter, they can help keep you accountable and vice versa. Want to meet new people and get a killer new marathon PR while on your runcation? Join a local run club! Running with other people who are faster than you will make you run faster too. Plus, nothing's better (or worse) than having a bunch of people text you the night before or morning of a speed workout making sure you're still going. Joining an organization can be really great for networking too, whether you're looking for a new job or just looking to meet more people to run, get fit, or dance salsa with.
4. THE BUDDY SYSTEM
Can't join an organization or class schedule not coordinating with your schedule? Buddy system to the rescue! Talk to your sibling(s) or friends about your New Year's resolutions and see if they might want to join you in the expedition. After all, who doesn't want to be in great shape by summer for triathlon season, or cook delicious healthy food, or do yoga every day? Chances are at least one of your friends are as crazy (read: motivated) as you are and will try doing your resolution with you if you ask. Again, this helps give you adequate support to see your resolutions through, through a little healthy competition. Is your New Year's resolution to eat less processed food and added sugar? Everyone could eat less sugar. Make your sister eat less sugar with you, and you'll immediately be motivated to eat less added sugar than her, as will she. Want to run a half marathon in 2017? Recruit a friend to run and train with you. The buddy system for New Year's resolutions is a win-win.
5. GET A COACH
Got a really tough New Year's resolution like training for your first Ironman triathlon, or running 50 marathons in 50 states (that one had better be a multi-year goal), or losing a large amount of weight, you need extra support from an expert. Because sometimes you're busy and you don't have time to go to group workouts or maybe the organization you want to join only meets sporadically, or you want to get in shape but you don't like racing. A coach can give you the right workouts to make you stronger and remind you when it's time to rest to get adequate recovery. A physical therapist can help you finally get over that pesky knee injury that's been a wet blanket on your workouts (or lack thereof) for months. A nutritionist can help you plan out your meals to get the most out of your food and help you figure out a plan that works for you. A life coach can help you find happiness and accomplish other various goals. There are specialists in every and anything you could possibly need help with, reach out to them and start working towards your goals.
Have you been successful in your New Year's resolutions in the past? What was most helpful to your achievements? What are your resolutions for 2017?