Every new year we see an overwhelming quantity of social media posts about how “this is going to be my year,” and “I’m going to lose 20 lbs and be healthy”… resolution after resolution. After a month or so into the new year, some people have done amazingly well – they’ve actually lost those 20 lbs, or they’ve gone 30 days without alcohol or sugar, or they’ve read a bit of a book each day.. By the end of the year, some of those people have made some incredible changes.

However, those are the outliers. The statistics on New Year’s Resolutions are fairly bleak: 45% of us make new years resolutions and 8% actually keep them by the end of the year. 8%!!

While that sounds discouraging, let me encourage you! There are a few proven ways to help you make substantial and lasting change.

Commit money to your goal

An odd statistic, but one that makes sense. If you put something financial on the line – set aside some money to donate to a charity if you don’t keep your resolution for the year, or join a gym and pay ahead of time, or even monthly, your statistics for success go up 10x from 8% to 80%. That is a HUGE difference.

Finances are always a difficult area for people and many resolutions in the new year deal with financial changes, better budgeting etc. So, if you commit money to your goal, you’re far more likely to take that goal seriously.

If you’re blessed with more, you are better off finding something more financially “painful” too. Put more down to donate to charity or offer to pay for a friend’s gym membership while you both go to the same gym so you not only have your money on the line, but someone else you’re responsible for.

Find a community of people who are on the same journey.

I’ll use Final Call as an example. We’ve been open for 2 years and have seen many people find us after getting fed up with how they feel, frustrated they can’t lose weight, or can’t keep up with their families and the energy required to get through the day. From our client data, the average time someone spends at Final Call is just shy of 1.5 years.

8% of people make it through a full year after starting to work on their resolution. For us, when someone plugs into our community, the average time with us is 1.5 years – which means we still see a few that start and are gone in a couple of months, but we also have many that stay with us for much longer.

We attribute this to our culture. Everyone who joins Final Call has a mindset of hope, positivity and determination. They’re willing and ready to make a change and everyone around them encourages them and lifts them up as they work through their personal journey to health.

We also add in accountability – we take responsibility for each person from the moment they walk in the door. We do Goals Sessions with them each quarter and assess their progress and give them a new prescription for the next quarter to continue to help them progress. It’s amazing what looking back on your progress and setting new, achievable goals each quarter can do.

We reward them for attending consistently, or, if we see someone missing from the gym, they’ll hear from us – texts, e-mails, phone calls.. I’ve even thought about carrier pigeons (kidding… but really…). We don’t let them sit at home and waste money paying for a gym membership or nutrition coaching they aren’t using.

All of these things come together into a seamless system of support, accountability, and personalized care that helps people successfully change the course of their lives for the better.

If you’re not close to us, we can deliver remote training. Or, find a gym or fitness center that actually cares. Don’t waste your money on a 1 year contract that you’ll never attend after the 1st month. Go find a small, locally owned gym and meet with them, ask them about how they personalize their program for you, ask how many people are in each class, ask what they do to help you stay accountable, as how long people stay members (this is huge!)… ask the hard questions and you’ll find a place that can be there to partner with you.

People need other people to succeed.

Yes, you can achieve your goals alone – there are many success stories of people accomplishing great things by themselves. But, there are massively more stories of those who came together, even if it’s just two people, and accomplished something great. Having a friend or community around you can help immensely. Find people you can trust, tell them your goals, and give them the ability to help hold you accountable.

My final encouragement to you for 2020: If you’re one of those people that is consistently successful in achieving your goals and resolutions, find a friend who needs help and share your help with them. Show them how you do it, mentor them this year and enjoy watching someone else benefit from what you’ve learned.

Don’t make 2020 the same song and dance as every other new year. Do something different. Don’t settle. You can succeed!