It’s that time again…a New Year and new goals. As I think about my own resolution, I’ve decided to try to focus on exercise and getting more fit as I continue dating online. Thinking about my resolution got me curious about how others handle their resolutions and how much success people do or do not have.
The sad thing is most people do pick goals for the New Year, but give up before they see any change. It’s happened to me and it’s probably happened to you. Don’t let that be you this year! Almost fifty percent of American adult make resolutions each New Year. Looking at PracativeChange.com, we see some depressing numbers for resolutions:
The following shows how many of these resolutions are maintained as time goes on:
- past the first week: 75%
- past 2 weeks: 71%
- after one month: 64%
- after 6 months: 46%
When you look at these numbers, one thing you could think is, “Wow so many people don’t keep their resolutions!” If half of Americans have a resolution, it means over 1 in 4 people in the US fail each year within 6 months. But I see something else here too: while only 46% of people keep their resolutions after 6 months, that still means that someone is doing something right! What is it about the people who succeed that is different from those that fail? There are probably too many areas to cover in one article, but here are three ideas I think could help you have better success with a resolution:
Plan for the Risk of Failure
Just as Brad talks about in his online dating guide, success rarely comes on accident. The online dating guide argues that planning and research can help you with online dating, the same is true for your resolutions. I’d suggest the first part of planning is admitting to yourself that resolutions are hard and decide right now what you will do when you’re tempted to give up in a month or two. That may sound pessimistic, but I think it’s better to plan for the “bad” than to assume everything will be good!
Pick a Specific Goal
If you’re in school or work in a corporation, you might be familiar with SMART goals. If not, check out the link…but basically it comes down to making sure that your goals are created in a way to give you something clear to work toward and a way to recognize when you have success. For example, your resolution might be, “I’m going to try online dating”. That’s not a great resolution…the only option for success, we would assume, is meeting someone and entering a relationship. A better goal would be, “I’m going to try online dating for the next three months with the goal of going on three first dates in that time”. This, in my opinion, is a much better goal!
Have Support or Accountability When You Can
Another area that has really helped me is having support or accountability with resolutions. What’s the difference? Well, if your resolution is to work our regularly the “support” could be a workout partner where “accountability” would be more like a workout coach. If you were online dating, support might be finding a friend who is also trying online dating and sharing the ups and downs with each other. Accountability in this example might be asking a friend to check in with you once a week to make sure you’re still giving it your all. In either case, support/accountability can help us stay on task even when we feel frustrated.
Online Dating and Resolutions
I believe many people end up using online dating as a part of their New Year’s resolution (although not many people admit to online dating being their resolution). When you look at the most popular resolutions, fitness is in the top 3. There are many reasons that people want to get fit, but I think if spend much time on this website, then a fitness goal is likely in part related to wanting land more dates.
I know myself that health will play a big part of my new year. In a sense, I want to attract women that are attracted to men who keep themselves in shape. I can only speak for myself, but I know the type of woman I’m looking for is healthy and might be labeled as “fit”. I want to offer the same and while I’ve heard that women are more forgiving than men, I’ve noticed women ask for men that are physically fit or want to get fit regularly in online dating profiles that I’m seeing.
So I ask, why not get fit for love? I can’t guarantee that it will increase the number of dates that one may have, but I do really believe that it will make a difference. Not only in the number of possible dates, but just in everyday life.
Imagining a Good Way to Start a Resolution
Let’s take a walk down fantasy lane. Let’s imagine for a moment that you want to change your life. Can you imagine that? OK, let’s say one of your biggest goals is to get fit and you say to yourself,
“This is the year. Nothing can stop me from achieving my goals this year!” So, where do you start?
I would keep it simple and as I described above, start planning! So step 1: deciding on a gym, or some other place to work out, and be intentional to find something that is right for you. Do you have late nights? You might want a 24 hour gym. Were you a swimming all-star in high school? A gym with a pool might help you stick to your goals. Whatever it is that makes you “you”, make sure you find what’s most likely to work before you commit.
Next, you want to do is commit to yourself that you will go and plan when. Imagine the outcome, imagine how better off you will be a month from now, three months from now, a year. Imagine how hard it’s going to be…that’s right! Because we need to be honest with ourselves. And maybe even imagine sharing your goals with a friend who will keep you on track.
Now, let’s say you follow through with everything. Even before you shed all the pounds you want to, chances are you’re feeling good, and when you feel good about yourself you become confident. When you feel good and you are confident you become more attractive to others. Studies have shown that introducing even a small amount of discipline or habit can have big impacts, even before you meet your final goal.
Speaking of goals: a good thing to do is to date people who share the similar goals. It doesn’t always work out this way, but it’s something to look out for. That might mean you start dating someone and it’s easy for you both to transition into working out together at the gym. Again, this is my goal but it could really be any resolution in theory. I would think that the shared successes and frustrations of a particular goal could bring people closer. Working together for a common goal usually has those results in my opinion.
Getting Fit…Even Without Love?
While I’m motivated to work out because I’m dating online, there are benefits even if it doesn’t lead to more dates. What are some benefits of working out? From what I’ve found as I’ve done some research, not surprisingly, there is a lot that shows that working out improves many, many areas of lives. Sure, it improves our health which we all know, but there are other areas too. Which isn’t to say that losing weight or looking better isn’t a good reason. But here are some reasons on top of those:
- Working out is a mood changer and has been shown to improve how we feel. I’ve read that it can even help reduce depression in some people.
- It helps to boost energy even on days when you’re not working out.
- Working out keeps you more healthy, helping the body to fight high blood pressure and increasing good cholesterol.
- An obvious effect of working out is that you lose weight. It also helps you maintain weight.
- Regular exercise can help you sleep better at night and fall deeper into sleep.
- Working out can help reduce stress – even limit amounts of exercise regularly have shown to help here.
- Exercise can improve your self-confidence. You feel good from working out and often you looking good from working out.
- Working out can help get you out of the house and into the great outdoors which is also something healthy to do, which more and more of us miss out on in our modern world.
- The brain releases dopamine which is a rewarding drug to the body a natural high. So working out can help you stay away from other addiction that may be bad for you.
- Longevity is also a great effect of exercise. While there’s no guarantee for a longer life, there’s no doubt that exercise helps people avoid so many of the diseases that can cause an early death.
- And last but not least exercising can improve your love life…without getting too detailed, I think we all realize that stamina is a good benefit for more than just the gym!
So yes, I am motivated to get healthier in part because I’m dating online. However, I’m also trying to keep all these other areas in mind to help keep me motivated too.
My Final Thoughts
If you’re thinking about getting healthier like me, don’t let another year go by making excuses for why you can’t work out. I can only speak for myself, but I have found that people who are serious about something will do it…they find a way, they find the time, they follow through. I know for me it has been a struggle most of my life to follow through when it comes to working out but I’m back at it again and I’m happy to share that with all of you here. Maybe you’ll even help hold me accountable!
So if you’ve been reading this thinking, “Easier said than done!”, I can relate because I have had trouble with this too. I have found that it’s about pushing forward one step at a time, even if you do fall back a few steps sometimes. And maybe you’re nervous about dating, but I’ve found that stepping out of your comfort zone can do amazing things for you. In 2017 I began to do just that with online dating and it has been a real eye-opener for me. I hope that if you are reading this that you go for it this year. We may not know each other but know that I’ll be pulling for you all the same!
So, now I have to find my gym. I have no idea how many gyms there are out there, but I do know there are a lot. As I discussed above, I believe that finding the right one is a personal choice so I’m trying to take into account what will work best for me. I know that Planet Fitness focuses on having a facility where you can feel safe or at least not judged as much. They even don’t approve of some activities in the gym because they don’t want their other clients to feel intimidated. I think that would be a good gym for someone who is just beginning and they also have personal training for you. Although, I would imagine that most gyms have this. I’ve also looked into a gym that’s open 24 hours a day and has a swimming pool although I’ve not found one close enough to me unfortunately. I’m sure I’ll find the right one…and you can too!
So, that’s where I’m at. I hope my thoughts will “try and pump you up!”, but ultimately the choice is yours. Finally, if you want another take on New Year’s resolutions, check out the video below. Best of luck to everyone trying to exercise discipline in a new way this year!