Do You Make This New Year’s Resolution Mistake?

Recent research shows that only 12% of people who set New Year’s resolutions actually achieve them (source: Wikipedia). This means almost 9 out of 10 guys will never achieve the goals they’ve set at the start of 2011.

Before I tell you why and what to do about it, look at some of the New Year’s resolutions that were posted on the StrongLifts Facebook fan page last week.

  • get stronger, bigger, faster
  • eat better, get diet sorted
  • drop bodyfat
  • get healthy
  • drink less

Do you see the big mistake here? None of these New Year’s resolutions are either clear, specific or measurable. What does that even mean “get healthy”? And how will you measure whether you’ll get healthier or not? These are all wishy-washy goals, and wishy-washy goals get wishy-washy results.

Napoleon Hill stressed in his bestselling book Think & Grow Rich that the most important factor for success was what he called a Definite Purpose. After analyzing over 500 successful men, Hill observed that all of them were clear about what they wanted – they had specific and measurable goals.

Napoleon Hill’s advice is actually backed up with research: if you set measurable goals instead of the usual vague ones like above, you’re 22% more likely to achieve your New Year’s resolutions (source: Wikipedia).

As an example, compare those bad New Year’s resolutions with the following ones which were also posted on the StrongLifts Facebook fan Page…

  • “Ž400lb deadlift
  • “Ž405lb max squat
  • “Ž150kg squat, 200kg deadlift, 120kg bench
  • “Ž440 S 500 DL 300 B and 220 oh.
  • 1000lb club

Do you see the difference with the plain vanilla “get stronger, bigger, faster”? You can not measure progress towards any of those. But you can definitely do it when you set as goal to Deadlift 500lbs or Squat 400lbs.

Here’s how you’d turn the wishy-washy goals at the top into measurable ones…

  • get stronger => Squat 400lb
  • get bigger => achieve 200lbs body-weight
  • eat better => eat at least 4 healthy meals per day
  • drop bodyfat => achieve 12% body fat
  • drink less => drink 6 beers per week max

Don’t be one of those guys playing blind archery. Be crystalclear about what you want. What you can measure you can improve.