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A New Year’s Resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous.
The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year’s Day and remain until fulfilled or abandoned.
Statistics show that the most popular New Year’s Resolutions are:
- Lose Weight
- Pay Off Debts
- Save Money
- Get a Better Job
- Get Fit
- Eat Right
- Get a Better Education
- Drink less Alcohol
- Quit Smoking
- Reduce Stress Overall
- Reduce Stress at Work
- Take a Trip
- Volunteer to Help Others
Resolutions Can Help You Achieve Your Goals
Recent research shows that while 52% of participants in a New Year’s Resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals.
Two interesting things worth noting from this study:
1. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, a system where small measurable goals are used (lose a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”)
2. Women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.
Following are some tips for coming up with New Year’s Resolutions that could help you to become a better triathlete…
New Year’s Resolutions For Triathletes
As a triathlete, there are several ways you could apply the concept of a New Year’s Resolution to your training.
Here are some examples:
Perhaps you’ve been vacillating about the challenge of taking on a longer-distance triathlon. You’ve done Sprint triathlons but the Olympic distance triathlon looms in your mind. Or, perhaps it’s the half (70.3) Ironman or the full Ironman that is always there in your head for consideration. You’ll never achieve that distance until you make up your mind and commit to establishing it as your goal. You might consider applying the New Year’s Resolution mentality to fulfilling this goal.
For every triathlete, there are areas that hinder performance. To name just a few:
- lack of core strength
- low flexibility
- flawed form or technique
- haphazard nutrition
- unnecessary body weight
- difficulty with biking hills
- ample rest and recovery
- random training
- lack of knowledge
Perhaps last year you got sloppy and simply did not put in the necessary mileage necessary in some area. A New Year’s Resolution may involve determining mileages you want to hit each week in your running or biking training. A New Year’s Resolution to address and improve a limiter may be the route to go.
Perhaps your goals have changed from doing triathlons to achieving certain performance levels within the sport of triathlon:
- Break 2:30 at the Memphis in May triathlon
- Place in the top 3 of my age group in an Olympic distance race
- Complete the run portion of the Music City Triathlon in less than 40 minutes
- Qualify for Ironman Hawaii
- Be the first one out of the water in my age group for the Wildwood Triathlon
Those are all examples of performance goals that you could establish as a New Year’s Resolution.
Tri life resolutions.
Maybe you are coming off a year of triathlon burnout and you need to establish a New Year’s Resolution to help you recover your enthusiasm and enjoyment of the sport. For some people, a New Year’s Resolution that relieves you of the stress of performance goals and simply focuses on enjoying training and competing in triathlons may be worthwhile.
Other tri life resolutions could be:
- Helping a newbie get started in triathlon
- Connecting your triathlon interests to a charity or cause you feel strongly about
- Starting a triathlon club
- Finding a triathlon training partner
- Doing more group training like group bike rides
- Becoming a less-stressed and more at-peace triathlete
- Involving your family in a triathlon relay event.
It’s also possible that other parts of your life have for too long taken a back seat to your triathlon interests, and a New Year’s Resolution could be a helpful way of achieving a more balanced life that you feel good about.
Tips For Sticking To Your Resolutions
Whatever you decide upon, here are some tips for successfully establishing and fulfilling your New Year’s Resolution:
Think it through. Don’t wait until December 31st and casually make a New Year’s Resolution from the first thing that pops into your mind. Every good triathlon training plan includes determining goals, objectives, training hours, priority races and so on. Look it all over and remember this: “If I achieve [this] next year as a triathlete, I know I will have accomplished something truly significant and something to celebrate.” Whatever you fill in that blank is likely a good place to start in deciding upon a New Year’s Resolution.
Be as specific as possible. A New Year’s Resolution to “lose weight” is too general. A more specific resolution would be to hit my target weight of 165 before my first triathlon. A New Year’s Resolution to “have more fun” is too nebulous. Be more specific! Is it that you want to enjoy the social elements of triathlon more? Or, is it that you want to maintain a stress-free attitude to your triathlon season this year? A good rule of thumb on this is to make your New Year’s Resolution specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time based (SMART).
Stay positive. Staying positive begins with stating your New Year’s Resolution in the positive. For example, a bad New Year’s Resolution would be, “Not to screw up the open water swim in my races this season.” Instead, state the resolution in the positive, “My New Year’s Resolution is to swim each triathlon event confidently, resiliently, and relaxed.” Another bad New Year’s Resolution would be, “To not get injured.” A positive way of stating it would be, “To become an injury-free triathlete by building greater flexibility and core strength.” Staying positive is also being guided and motivated by how great achieving the resolution will feel and be. Fear of failure isn’t nearly as powerful a motivation as envisioning the fulfillment and benefits of what you desire. In order to stay positive, you must be persistent and not too hard on yourself. There’s a reason why most people don’t fulfill their New Year’s Resolutions – they give up! We all relapse into old patterns that we want to stop, it’s just part of it; keep going! New habits take time. Remember it’s a New Year’s Resolution, not a New Day or New Week or New Month or New Quarter Resolution.
Tell others. A lot of people keep their New Year’s Resolution private. The odds of achieving your resolution increase if you go public. For example, write out your resolution on a sheet of paper, sign it, and put it somewhere prominent in your house. Maybe make your New Year’s Resolution into a screen saver or reminder you will see whenever you log onto your computer. Share your resolution with your family, friends, tri friends, triathlon club, and online triathlon social network. Taking it one step further, identify one, two or three fellow triathletes with whom you share each other’s New Year’s Resolution for the purpose of mutual encouragement, support, and accountability.
If you have any suggestions on how to achieve a triathlon-related New Year’s Resolution, please leave a comment.
Here’s to a fun and fulfilling triathlon season!
I’m over 40 years old, but I don’t give up easily. It wasn’t too long ago that I was exploring the idea of doing my first triathlon. If I can do it, you can too! I'm proof that with a little determination and training, you can get a great deal of fulfillment participating in marathons, triathlons… even ultramarathons.