It’s that time of year again…when most Americans make their New Year’s Resolution. In fact, over 75% of us will make some form of resolution ranging from the very specific and measurable (e.g. lose 30 lbs or save 5% of my income, etc.) to the more general and vague (e.g., be a better person).
Losing weight, staying healthy and saving more money are some of the more popular resolutions, but frankly none of them really seem like much fun. Now help is on the way with new technologies that will make achieving exercise and weight loss resolutions easier. Over the past few years, there’s been an explosion in the areas of wearables such as Fitbit and Jawbone and free mobile apps such as Myfitnesspal.com and Loseit.com. The wearables allow you to track how many calories you’ve burned and, if you’re ambitious enough, enter what foods/calories you’ve consumed. The free apps have a wide array of tools including calorie counters (enter the foods you’ve eaten) and calorie burners based on the activity/exercise you’ve participated in. This allows you to see incremental progress and, hopefully, stick with your resolutions throughout the year.
There’s even a new class of weight loss app that allows you to make a wager on your weight loss success. Apps such as Dietbet, Pact and HealthyWage allow you fatten your wallet while you shed the pounds!
All of the wearables and free mobile apps assume, however, you have the self discipline to stick to your fitness and/or diet regimen. But what if you need some support? There are of course the old standby commercial programs such as Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig. But, despite Oprah’s involvement with Weight Watchers from both an investor and spokesperson perspective (e.g., new commercial which she tweeted to her 30M followers, appearance on Ellen, etc.), there hasn’t been any meaningful innovation launched by any of them.
Weight Watchers recently announced a new program called “Beyond the Scale”, but it appears to be smoke and mirror, cosmetic “changes” that will have questionable impact on client weight loss success or Weight Watchers overall business performance. And more of the same (or less) from Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig.
So, we’re sorry to say that consumers are essentially “on their own” if they’re trying to achieve fitness and/or weight loss resolutions in 2016. To find the technology that you feel you can most easily stick to, we encourage you to research the wearables if you’re more fitness oriented or use one of the free mobile apps if tracking food/calories is more your thing.
Why We Fail
But, regardless what resolution you make, nine out of ten of us fail. And why is that? Studies show the main reasons are:
- Going it alone – the more support you have, the more likely you’ll be to keep your resolution. Tell your friends and family and build a support system around you.
- Making unrealistically lofty resolutions – make it achievable…take it day by day
- Giving up too easily – don’t get discouraged, build incremental milestones so you can feel good about your progress
- Lack of honesty – are you really committed to running that marathon or to losing that 40lbs?
Try Something Different
One way to break out of the usual resolution rut is to resolve to do something completely different. So what are some of the more unusual and perhaps more fun resolutions to make? How about “try a new food each week” or “learn something you never learned as a child” or maybe even “get your photo taken in five interesting places”! Not that losing weight and saving money aren’t important, but doesn’t it sound like more fun to make resolutions around a commitment to experiencing more out of life?
Best of luck with whatever New Year’s resolution you make and please share some of your more unusual ones with us. We’d love to hear them!