Resolutions vs. Habits

Three ways to transform your New Year's Resolution into a lasting and impactful Habit
Geoff Webb
January 7, 2024
Resolutions vs. Habits

Geoff Webb


January 7, 2024

Once again, it’s that time of year when people are tempted to make New Year's Resolutions. Some people are full of hope and energy. Some are gritting their teeth and trying again. Still others have failed so many times they don’t even bother.

So why are resolutions so hard to keep?

Because most of our resolutions are only surface deep. Lasting change requires change on a deeper level. The Integrity Elements of Trustworthiness reveal the power of linking our commitments (Dependability) to who we are (Authenticity).

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, describes this linkage in his concept of Identity-based habits. Instead of beginning with outcomes or plans, Clear recommends first choosing who you want to be, then proving it to yourself with small wins.

Here are three tips for transforming your grandiose resolutions into an effective habit.

  1. Begin with Identity. First, choose who you want to be, as opposed to what you want to do. Your identity will always trump your willpower in the long run.  That’s why we refer to CrossFit Dayton members as athletes.  When you identify as an athlete you make a commitment to show up for training, to eat well, and to get enough sleep.  Athletes make different decisions than non-athletes do.  
  2. Commit to one Small Change. Begin with a slight behavior change that is easily achievable and aligns with who you want to be. Once you have that down, go a little further.  If you are not sure where to start, plan on coming to our Free Community CrossFit Class.  You can come every Saturday at 8:30 am and participate in a coach led partner workout that is scaled to your fitness and skill level.
  3. Set the Conditions. Experiment with how to set yourself up for success. What systems can you put in place to make it easy for you to close your promise loop to yourself?  This may be as straightforward as setting aside time on your calendar to workout.  If you are not sure where you can find the time, sit down with the people you care about and who care about you, and talk about your fitness goal and your calendar.  CrossFit Dayton has weekday classes at 5:30 and 9:00 in the morning and 4:30 and 5:30 in the evening.  In addition to attending unlimited CrossFit classes, members also receive 24/7 facility access so they can workout on their own schedule when needed.

Resolutions are, in effect, promises to yourself. The ability to keep promises to yourself is foundational to being able to trust yourself—and gives you the confidence to ask others to trust you.

For Reflection: What is your fitness goal for 2024?  Click Here to see options for your Best Next Step.

About the Author: Geoff Webb graduated from West Point and commanded army units around the globe as an Apache attack helicopter pilot. Following his military career, he found himself transforming leaders in the world’s largest companies. Geoff has worked with Wal-Mart, Google, Facebook, Apple, IBM, JP Morgan, HBO, Chick-fil-A, and others to create innovative, breakthrough experiences for leaders at all levels. He integrates scientific research with a uniquely human approach to help technical professionals connect with others and become better communicators, innovators, and influencers.  Learn about his latest writing project, a book for leaders about the value of Trust, by checking out Geoff's Trustworthy Weekly Newsletter. (This blog post is adapted from his latest weekly email!)

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