Happy New Year! Did you make any New Year’s resolutions for 2019? 60 percent of Americans do, but only 8 percent of us achieve them and over half of us who make resolutions give up by January 31! The top three resolutions are the same from year to year—eat healthier, get more exercise and save more money. Women tend to make health focused resolutions while men pledge to boost their careers and lay off the alcohol. I researched people who achieve their resolutions and they have some common success factors which I share this month, along with my 2019 dream. I have also created a financial resolution action plan that you can download from StewardshipColorado.com
I rarely make New Year’s resolutions but this year, I am going on record, and mine is to improve my fitness drastically by August 1, as measured by my body mass index (less than 23) and Functional Threshold Power (FTP) wattage (over 300 watts). FTP is a measure of how hard you can pedal on a bike uninterrupted for an hour. I had a bit of a wake-up call last spring when my physician suggested I start taking medication to treat my elevated blood pressure and cholesterol. Both conditions are common in my family and I have historically controlled them with exercise and diet, but I have not trained hard for anything since the 2016 Leadville 100, so this was not a big surprise.
This month’s cover photo is of my brother, Tom, and his friend, Shaw, last September near Silverton on the Colorado Trail (CT). I was planning on joining Tom and another friend John to ride the entire CT from Denver to Durango in 16 days, but I was slow to fully commit and when I got a surprise invite to row the Grand Canyon again in June, that was the end of the ride for me. The CT is a very serious and challenging undertaking—550 miles of mountain biking with 71,000 of climbing all at an average elevation of 10,000 feet. Luckily for me, Tom is excited to do the CT again this summer and being fully prepared to ride the CT this summer is my primary motivation for training this year.
Thoughts on Achieving Your 2019 Resolution
Start With Why—what is it about your resolution that gets you so excited and motivated? Making meaningful changes in your life is very difficult and successful people arm themselves with strong motivation from the beginning. I want to more than just survive the CT this summer. I want to be able to really enjoy the expedition and be fully present and not worry about having to abandon at some point. I also know from past experience that reaching my fitness potential will yield a multitude of benefits such as higher energy, more confidence, more patience, better sleep and very clear thinking.
Be Realistic and Pick One—one common reason people don’t achieve their resolutions is because they create a wish list of many desired changes without committing to any of them. What one area of your life would benefit most from a successful resolution? Start there.
Do Your Homework and Create a Plan—other people have successfully achieved your resolution for themselves and you can copy the strategies they used. The first three months of my plan involves following a specific cycling training and nutrition plan and doing a complete alcohol fast which is generally how I start every serious training regimen. Before April, I will reassess and plan for the next 90 days.
Anticipate Obstacles—think hard about what can derail your plans and take steps to minimize those obstacles and optimize your environment. Getting to the gym has always been hard for me, so I bought a Peloton indoor cycling trainer, which is a 30-second walk away and is always ready and available. Boredom with indoor cycling is another challenge for me and the Peloton comes with a huge variety of instructors and workouts, which I truly enjoy.
Commit to Your Plan—there is a surefire way to tell if you are truly committed to achieving your resolution. My calendar is blocked out from 5 am to 6 am every day and I have hired a personal trainer for my workouts off the bike. If you are not consistently dedicating time and resources to achieving your resolution, you are probably not fully committed to it.
Go Public, Seek Support and Persevere— tell your friends and family about your goals and plans and how important they are to you (like I am doing here). Making a public commitment will bring both encouragement and accountability to help you persevere when you inevitably drift off course or are tempted to give up. Transformation always begins with just one change and when you achieve your first important commitment to yourself, you will roll with confidence into the rest.
Can We Help You? One common wish we hear from people is their desire to finally get financially organized and figure out how to optimize their family finances to be ready for the future. Everyone wants to feel financially prepared for life’s transitions, both the planned ones (home ownership, starting a family, college funding, weddings, vacation homes and a dream retirement) as well as the unplanned transitions. Many people have a pretty good idea about what they need to do, but like me, other things get in the way of making a plan and fully committing to execute it with consistency. If you are curious to learn more about achieving a financial resolution, go to StewardshipColorado. com and download our financial resolution action plan. It’s no longer January 1, but if this is something that has been on your heart, there is no reason you can’t start tomorrow!
We work on an ongoing retainer basis and can also provide specific project quotes for any of your planning or investment needs. We offer an introductory one-hour meeting at no charge to allow you to get to know us better and ask us anything that is on your mind. Give us a call at 303.500.1930, or request an appointment online at StewardshipColorado.com.