It’s Disney World at the Gym & A Lesson from Harvard Students on Resolutions

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Unknown 7 1 1 | It'S Disney World At The Gym &Amp; A Lesson From Harvard Students On Resolutions




Man, oh man, it’s already begun.


I parked my car at the parking garage connected to Pure Austin Fitness in downtown Austin on New Years’ Eve and the parking lot was like Disney World (crazy busy).


The annual drive to be the fittest, healthiest, best looking and best feeling YOU is here.


‘New year…New you!’




It’s the mantra that is ‘tale as old as time.’


2015 is here, which means it’s time to re-create yourself, right?


The past several days, you’ve probably been hearing lots of talk, reading blog posts, and seeing Facebook news feeds and Instagram posts aimed at resolution setting and goal making.




Something about the word ‘resolution’ rubs me the wrong way. Perhaps it’s because I have some stigma about them that they don’t stick.


Approximately 60% of us make them every year—and, the majority of those ‘resolutioners’ stick with them for about a month, before quietly tucking them away in the back of our minds.






Maybe, just maybe, you’re an exception and can remember that one time you followed through with something you set out to do for a certain amount of time, such as:


Give up soda.

Workout consistently 3 times per week for a month.

Quit reaching for sugar after every meal.

Stop smoking.

Lose weight or body fat.

Cut out gluten and dairy for a month.


(If you’ve made and kept more resolutions, I’d love to hear all about it!)


Don’t get me wrong.


Resolutions aren’t a bad thing—heck goal setting is a great thing! The problem with resolutions in general though (and why they don’t stick), is that, far too often, resolutions revolve around ‘can’t’s’ and ‘should nots’ and ultimatiums—What you can and can’t do. Deprivation. Will power. Self-control.


“I will not…XYZ.”


“I am giving up…XYZ.”


“I have to…XYZ…or else…”


“All in…”


“30 days, no excuses.”


How NOT fun do those resolutions sound?


They sound more like drill sergeant orders to yourself—or something you say with gusto, but in the back of your mind, you wonder if they really are going to stick.




After all, who likes to be told what they can and cannot do? And who likes commitment?!


Not to mention, most resolutions are BIG LONG TERM GOALS—with undefined, unclear ACTION STEPS and BABY STEPS to get there.


A huge road block with claiming or stating a New Year’s Resolution isn’t necessarily in the resolution itself—but it is the lack of direction with ‘getting there.’


That my friends, is a huge missing link in any resolution most people set—the BABY STEPS it’s going to take to achieve that resolution.


Think about something you would LOVE to see happen in your 2015…anything


It could be:


You’re working in a job you love.


You have gained some healthy weight and are experiencing strides, freedom and breakthroughs in your personal recovery journey.


You add 30 lbs. to your backsquat.


Your prayer life is on fire for God.


You run a marathon.


You have financial freedom and are debt free.


You grasp optimal health and well-being.


You feel more confident and assertive in your own skin.


Whatever you want—the sky is the limit!


Got it?


Ok good, because the fun doesn’t stop right there.




Once you have an idea of something you would like to be different in your life in 2015, herein lies the question: So how are you going to get there?


Baby steps. What clear, action steps (and short-term goals) are you going to take in order to move forward and get closer to your bigger goal?




In the book What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School, author Mark McCormack shares a study conducted on students in the 1979 Harvard MBA program. In that year, the students were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” Only three percent of the graduates had written goals and plans; 13 percent had goals, but they were not in writing; and a whopping 84 percent had no specific goals at all.


Ten years later, the members of the class were interviewed again, and the findings, while somewhat predictable, were nonetheless astonishing. The 13 percent of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all. And what about the three percent who had clear, written goals? They were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.

In spite of such proof of success, most people don’t have clear goals that they work toward.


That being said—it’s time to get back to the drawing boards.


The year has just begun and resolutions are won in the daily grind—the small steps you take (even when no one is watching).


Don’t get so caught up in the ‘shoulds’ or ‘should nots’ or the final destination—focus on the journey and you will get there before you know it.


I’ll leave you with a prime example:




In my recovery journey from an eating disorder, I wanted nothing more than FREEDOM.


I had no idea exactly what ‘freedom’ looked like—but I knew I wanted it more than I wanted that darn voice of ED babbling in my head on a daily basis: “You’re ugly, fat and stupid” or “Don’t eat that, or else…” or “You are so lazy if you’re not moving your body.”


Freedom, however, did not come over night.


As I began to define clear action ‘baby’ steps for ‘getting there’…freedom slowly but surely came.


I began of trust that eating a balance of real foods—(things I had formerly been scared of, such as egg yolks, to bacon, avocado, nuts/seeds and animal ) was good for my body, and actually incorporating these into my daily diet.


I began doing things that didn’t always feel comfortable (like eating regular meals, or choosing to not step hours and hours away on a StairMaster).


I began to stop planning so much, keeping a tight daily agenda—packed to the second—and instead made a conscious effort to become more present (I didn’t have to always be in control of my daily schedule).


And you know what…slowly but surely, my overarching goal of ‘freedom’ soon became reality.


It’s 2015…keep the big picture in mind, but focus more on those daily little baby steps that end up leading to big things.




Just do it.






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