Welcome to 2021: This year, I’m not making a New Years Resolution. Spoiler alert: they almost never work.
The problem is not because we can’t set a goal and succeed at improving ourselves. The issue stems from not having a direct path. A New Year’s resolution is the same as a long term goal. A long term goal is any goal that will take longer than 6 months. Second, a long term goal needs smaller sub goals to facilitate it, otherwise it will get lost without clear direction.
Don’t get me wrong–I am not trying to discourage you from setting a long term goal. I have the utmost respect for anybody wishing to seek personal growth or improvement. Instead, I would advise to complement your New Year’s resolution goal with a couple of smaller, short term goals that can build into your big one.
One of my favorite month-long goals that I use to get back in shape is something I call compounding fitness. The idea comes form compounding interest, a mathematical phenomenon on growth. For example, a month of compounding fitness starts off with a particular exercise done once on the 1st day of the month. Let’s use sit ups as an example.
January 1st – 1 Sit Up
January 2nd – 2 Sit Ups
January 3rd – 3 Sit Ups
. . . And so on
This is a method that allows your body to slowly acclimate to an increase in exercise intensity. The workout doesn’t have to be sit ups, and it doesn’t have to match the particular day of the month either. However, I find that it becomes fun to try and complete the ‘daily challenge’.
Here are some ideas you can try:
- Compounding push ups (1 per day)
- Compounding body weight squats (1 per day)
- Compounding lunges (1 per leg per day)
- Jumping Jacks (2 per day)
- Jogging (10 seconds per day)
- Jump rope (10 per day)
Just remember, with all fitness programs you need to listen to your body. Take a rest day as needed, and accept the challenge within your own limits!