January 24, 2020

4 Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Fail (and the Tips to Succeed)

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This year I decided to set a New Year’s resolution for myself. My goal was to drink a minimum of 64oz of water every day.

Everything I’d read about resolutions indicated that there is a critical milestone that occurs between days 20 to 25 when an activity becomes a habit. Sadly, most individuals struggle to adapt to the initial disruption to their daily lives, and their best intentions for change languish. As we head into week four of a new year, I can proudly say I’m drinking considerably closer to 64oz of water per day. I’m not perfect, but I’ve incorporated behaviors that support me in reaching that goal.

How do I continue to ensure success? By avoiding these pitfalls:

1. The goal wasn’t clearly defined

Drink no less than 64oz of water per day. Boom – simple, right? I know exactly how much water I need to consume. I have a measure of my daily success or failure and I can hold myself accountable.

2.The plan didn’t survive first contact

Plans rarely do. However, the more details taken into consideration, the more likely every contingency that could derail progress has been addressed. My plan includes strategically placing cups and water bottles around my house, office and in my Jeep to help me adhere to my plan.

3.Lots of change at once is hard

Humans are creatures of habit and even seemingly small changes can have ripple effects in our daily lives. Incorporating many changes simultaneously doesn’t allow for our minds to transform a few behaviors into habits. Instead, the key to success lies in focusing on a few critical changes that are stacked onto existing habits. I know my morning routine includes making coffee, so while I’m at the tap I fill my strategically placed cup with my first eight ounces of the day.

4.Lack of motivation

Without motivation any other qualifiers for success are moot. Deep down I knew I needed to drink more water so I could perform better in the gym. My motivation was fueled by a larger goal outside of just drinking more water.

So, for those of you crushing your New Year goals, I salute you. For the rest of us who are struggling, take a moment to explore your goals, plans and most importantly your motivation. You may find a way to realign yourself to your goal with a better plan or discover a new goal—like running an MCM Event—to get your motivation back on track.

Written by Kate Kovatch

Kate Kovatch joined the MCM Organization in October 2019 as the event coordinator. She spent 13 years in the U.S. Marine Corps and ran the 32nd Marine Corps Marathon in 2007.

Register for the Marine Corps Marathon Weekend

Recognized for impeccable organization on an iconic course managed by the US Marines in Arlington, VA and the nation’s capital, the Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the US and the world. Known as ‘the best marathon for beginners,’ the MCM is the largest marathon in the world that doesn’t offer prize money, earning its nickname, “The People’s Marathon.” The weekend also offers the MCM10K and MCM50K.