If you’re the kind of person who loves a good New Year’s Resolution (you know Molly is!), then you’ve also probably experienced the late-January slump that goes with some of your resolutions. According to Strava, January 17 is “Quitters’ Day,” or the day that Americans are most likely to give up on their New Year’s fitness resolutions. Cue sad trombone… or maybe not. Maybe this is the chance to look critically at your resolution in the cold light of another 350 days left in the year and ask yourself if it’s something that you really want (and are able to accomplish), or if maybe you went out just a little too hard and should actually downshift to a slightly gentler resolution.
For anyone thinking about opting out of those strong resolutions that you set on 12/31, we have a few reminders and articles that might help you stay on track, or blaze a new path:
- Skipping one day doesn’t mean you failed. You can start again tomorrow. No judgement. (I wrote about run streaks, and this is one of the main reasons I don’t love them—because of the defeat you feel when you break one.)
- Finding it impossible to stick to? Maybe the goal you set was too aggressive to begin with. Can you dial it back to something that you don’t hate the thought of? (Maybe a tiny habit change, like one of these Habits of Highly Effective Athletes?)
- Can you rephrase your resolution so you’re not technically quitting on it if you take an off day or have a few not-so-perfect moments? (This is why I like a one-word resolution versus super specific ones. There’s not really a way to ‘fail’ at it or ‘quit’ it!)
- Can we agree that resolutions are arbitrary and makeover montages don’t happen in real life and just cut ourselves a break, and go out and ride or run just because it feels good, not because we’re ‘supposed to do it’? Personally, I found this one really important during the pandemic when there weren’t really any races to train for, and we’ve talked about it a lot on the podcast. It’s sort of like that question of ‘if you had 100 million dollars, what would you do?’ that’s supposed to help you find your ‘passion’ at work. Ask yourself, ‘if there weren’t any races, what would I do for training?’ (If the answer is ‘catch up on Netflix’, you may want to investigate other sports and forms of exercise to see if there’s another type of training that appeals to you more, or at least gives you time to miss your current sport!)
Back in 2018, Strava used their Year in Sport report to put together a few stat-based recommendations, which may help keep you on track as well:
- Set a Goal: 94% of athletes who set goals remain active nine months later. (More on goal-setting and resolutions here)
- Join a Club: Being social leads to significant increase in overall activity. Athletes who join a club are three times more active than non-club members.
- Vary Your Workouts: Activity uploads more than double when athletes change their workouts. To become more active, don’t simply do more of the same activity; discover another activity type and start varying your workout routine. (… Maybe it’s time to sign up for a triathlon?)
- Incorporate Indoor Activities: Athletes who shared indoor activities to Strava uploaded 323% more total activities in the past year versus athletes who only uploaded run or ride activities. (Like this Anywhere Strength workout!)
- Don’t work out alone: When athletes exercise in groups, they tend to go 21% further and those workouts last 10% longer. (How to find your crew here)