Don’t Make That Resolution, Do This…

“Why can’t I catch my breath?”, you think.

A couple more steps and your foot reaches the top step.  To help your lungs get the most air possible you flex at your waist and put rest your hands just above your knees and lock your elbows.  This takes some of the pressure off your lungs and gives your sore back a much needed rest.

As you feel your capillary beds fill with oxygen, your 4-year old daughter lands squarely on your back sending a shock of pain through your lower back and down to the to the right foot.  

You’re not a healthy person.  Sure, you may look healthy to the outside world, but you know you’re not.  Face it, you can barely perform the basics of your everyday life.  Your cardiovascular health is pitiful and the muscles that support your spine crumble under the load of a little girl.

You decide to make this year different.  You RESOLVE to get healthy this year.

Sorry to break the bad news, but it ain’t gonna happen.  The research is stacked against you.  Those of you who make new year’s resolutions make up about 45% of Americans.  Only 8% of this resolute group actually are successful.  So I’m sorry to say the stats don’t look too good for you.

Let me give you some good advice.  Don’t make a new year’s resolution this year.  The problem with making resolutions is the “resolve” part.  Resolving to do or don’t do something simply means you have decided to do or not do that thing.  You are doomed to failure.  The decision is not enough — you have to feel it.  Ultimately, you have to LIVE it.

Let me propose a goal setting formula that follows the acronym H.A.R.D., as described by Mark Murphy in his book “Hard Goals”.  

  1. Heartfelt – You must care deeply for the goal.
  2. Animated – You need to imagine complete success.  What does it feel like?
  3. Required – You MUST believe that achieving this goal is not optional.
  4. Difficult – The goal must be tough enough to achieve that you will tap into your creativity.

The absolute number one, by far, predictor of goal setting success is the ability to “vividly picture how great it will feel when you achieve” your goals.  Can you feel it?

This year don’t make a resolution.  Make a decision then use your imagination. How does your decision, fully realized, make a difference in your life?  Image complete success and feel it.  By feeling what success is like you are well on your way to successfully making that change.

You can find a nice summary of HARD goal setting here.


My free Jump Start Program is now available.  Anderson Jump Start is a three day program to self-audit your health.  It includes practical nutrition advice and an at-home full body exercise program.