How to actually keep your New Year’s Resolution: Part One

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By Jennifer Lauretti, PhD

Any chance you are interested in setting a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, get fit or be healthy? If so, join the club! Losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution. For a country who accomplished the unimaginable and sent a man to the moon almost a half century ago,why is this goal so elusive for so many Americans – 2/3 of whom are either overweight or obese? If you’ve never heard President Kennedy’s speech about sending a man to the moon, follow this link to listen or read it. It is a beautiful example of the power of a clear vision mixed with hope and determination. He urges people to share his vision of what’s possible because at the time of this speech placing a person on the moon was unthinkable. Here’s a brief excerpt:

But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun–almost as hot as it is here today–and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out–then we must be bold.

                                                                                                John F. Kennedy


What does space exploration have to do with weight loss? Essentially, Americans are innovative problem solvers who can collectively accomplish the inconceivable. While we now know how to land safely on the moon, why is it that most of us struggle (or have struggled) with our weight? Why haven’t we solved what has been labeled the obesity epidemic? Some of the best researchers in the world are still attempting to crack the code and solve this problem.

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, it is estimated that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by the second week of February. Data from the University of Scranton reveals that 92% of people who set a weight loss goal will fail. While this information may seem overwhelmingly discouraging, this statistic begs the question: What are the 8% doing that helped them succeed?

Achieving goals is not magic. People are not preordained to be successful or unsuccessful. The 8% of people who achieved their goals did so by strategically following through with habits and behaviors consistently over time. The 8% statistic demonstrates that anyone who is willing to put forth the effort can set SMART goals and achieve them.

The 8% of the population who achieved their New Year’s Resolution represent clear examples of people (just like you and me) working hard to create the results they desire in their life.

Ask yourself these questions: 

Why NOT you?

If not now, when?

Do you believe you can be be part of the 8% – Why / why not?

Stay tuned for part II of this blog post identifying more details about the 8%. Sign up for our mailing list to never miss a post!