According to a 2016 study, of the 41% percent of Americans who make New Year's resolutions, by the end of the year, only 9% feel they are successful in keeping them.
As 2021 is coming to an end, it is almost impossible not to reflect on the past year. Did I eat more healthily? Did I exercise enough? Did I spend adequate time with family and friends? Did I plan or go on a vacation? Was I happy overall? Did I keep my resolutions? What even were my resolutions?
A once common practice is now becoming more and more obsolete each year. And that practice is the New Years Resolution. 57% percent of people are now choosing to forgo their resolutions and that number is in an upward trend. Why are people choosing to give up this practice? It seems like it is a really good activity to evaluate where you are right now and where you want to be at the end of the year.
I recently found a few studies that explained why people failed in their quest to keep their resolutions and provide a more effective alternative, Streaking.
35% of participants who failed their New Year’s Resolutions said they had unrealistic goals.
With the excitement of the new year, it can be tempting to set high expectations. We feel the urge to make our resolution big so that when we are asked about what we plan on doing, it seems cool to our peers.
33% of participants who failed didn’t keep track of their progress.
Keeping track of progress is an essential part of growth. Some may argue, "Well isn't it more important to do that activity than keep track of it?" There is power in keeping a record of what you do. When you look back at your accomplishment and can undoubtedly see your consistency, your self-credibility acts as a rocket to propel you forward to more success.
Streaking will solve all the above obstacles. When you decide to set a streak you are choosing to be intentional about your actions and focus on the input rather than the result. We often want to have 6 pack abs, read 20 books, or save $20,000 but fail to focus on what will lead to those accomplishements. Streaking will help you be more consistent than you ever have been before and here is how to do it successfully.
Step 1: Decide who you want to be.
Before choosing what you would like to streak, it is important to evaluate who you want to be. Do you want to be more hydrated? Do you want to be more kind? Do you want to be more intentional with your eating? Do you want to be a better husband, wife, or partner? Write down a few sentences called your, "Be Statement" so when it comes time to pick a streak, you already have an idea in which direction to go. First determining who you want to be will help you truly determine what is important to you.
Step 2: Pick one streak
About one in 10 people who failed with their resolutions said they made too many resolutions. There are many areas to improve in but it is important to only choose one for now. Remember, you can always add more streaks later and it is first important to get used to Streaking as there is a good chance you have never streaked before so this is a good reminder to take it slow and build that self credibility.
Read at least one paragraph from a book daily
Send at least one kind of text to someone daily
Run or walk at least one mile daily
Log at least one meal in my dieting app daily
Step 3: Make your streak Laughably Simple
The first law of streaking is, "Make it Laughably Simple." As you can see from the examples above, streaks are purposefully designed to be laughably simple. So if you picked out a streak to run 8 miles daily, here is your chance to adjust it. Streaking is all about compound interest and building up consecutive consistency. Think of Streaking as your foundation on which you can build. As an example, I have the streak to sweat at least once daily and have done it for 532 days now. Almost every day I break way more than one sweat. Yesterday I went on a 7-mile run and today I rode the Peloton. However, tomorrow I am traveling 10 hours and leave early in the morning so I will need to find a way to break that sweat even if I have to do a light jog while filling up at a gas station. There will always be days where you will have travel plans, where your kids are sick at home, or where your entire routine is thrown off because your alarm failed to go off because of a power outage overnight (Home Alone style). On those days, trust me, you'll be thankful your streak is laughably simple.
Note: Just because your streak is laughably simple, doesn't mean you have to stop there. You can always do more because your streak is your foundation.
By adding the words, "at least" you can quench your inner desire to do more. For me, the streaks, "sweat once daily," and "sweat at least once daily," are drastically different.
Step 4: Download the Streaking App
Once you've completed your streak, it is now time to record it. If you do not record that you did your streak, you are not Streaking. I have now been Streaking for over two years now and you'd be amazed at how many times I had forgotten if I had done the activity or not that day. Luckily we have the Streaking app so I could open it up and see that I had logged it earlier that day. The Streaking app is available in the App and Google Play store.
Step 5: Keep Your Streak Alive
Now you can tell all your friends and family that you have started Streaking. You can set reminders in the app and connect with others so you can be successful in your journey.
We are excited to see what streaks you choose to start this New Year to become who you want to be.