New Year’s Resolutions for 2018

On the last day of 2017, I asked you for tips about sticking to New Year’s Resolutions.

I’m glad to take the advice for myself, because I always make resolutions but have a hard time sticking to them. A lot of you said your advice was to not make any resolutions — because then you can’t break them — and suggested if these goals were that important, they shouldn’t wait until New Year’s.

But I’m a very deadline-oriented person, so I tend to put things off until there’s a reason. So that’s why the start of a new year seems like a good time to make some changes.

There were a couple themes in your advice: Accountability is a big one, because telling others means you create some peer pressure to keep the goals alive. But also people said it’s important to structure the resolutions in a way to where if you don’t live up to one of them during a given week (like not having time to work out), you don’t just completely fall off the wagon and stop doing it altogether.

So I’m going to give you my resolutions now — primarily to be accountable for them.

1. Drink 75 ounces of water per day

I’m terrible about drinking water. When I’m at the track, I don’t want to constantly have to pee — so I don’t make an effort to drink water. I’m not in the habit.

But I know it’s super important for good health, so I’ll give it another try. I’ve tried apps before that help you track it, but the goals are so lofty (100 ounces of water per day?!?) that I typically fail right away and then just give up.

I just downloaded a new app and it lets you set your own goal. I put it at 75 ounces of water per day. That’s still a TON compared to what I usually drink, but it seems perhaps more doable than 100 — and maybe I will be able to have a better shot at keeping up with it.

2. Average 10,000 steps per day

They say 10,000 steps per day doesn’t really do much for your health, but it keeps you from being too sedentary (which can be a real problem for me when I’m sitting at the computer all day).

But if I said, “I will take 10,000 steps every day,” I would fail almost immediately. Instead, I’m going to try to average that amount so if I have a bad day or two, I can make up for it.

That’s going to be a big change for me, because last year I only averaged 5,700 steps per day (according to my iPhone). So this one might be hard.

3. Triple the number of days I work out

Last year, I rode 455 miles on my bike — which was pretty good for my standards. But I only worked out a total of 33 days last year. That means I only exercised on 9 percent of the days! Clearly, that is not a healthy lifestyle (especially for someone who has high cholesterol like me). So I need to improve that, and in a hurry — or I won’t be here for as long as I hope.

I’m going to shoot for 100 days working out this year (“working out” meaning a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise). Hopefully that will help my overall health.

4. One hour every day for correspondence/finances/housekeeping

My biggest weakness in Year 1 of running my own site was failing to stay on top of things like replying to emails and DMs (I still have emails from last March that I’ve been meaning to return), staying organized with finances (tax season is going to be rough) and making improvements to the site/podcast/Patreon page.

Obviously, the top priority is the editorial content (columns, interviews, news, etc.). But I just need to make more time for the rest of it — whether that means waking up an hour earlier or just using my time better.



5. Keep improving as a person

I have so many faults and flaws, and I need to work on becoming a better human overall. You can’t really ever stop when it comes to that. I need to make sure to recognize my shortcomings and try to fix them where possible. This one is pretty general, but there are too many specifics to tackle just one.

So those are my five. What are yours? If you want to write yours down for accountability as well, feel free to post in the comments section below.

8 Replies to “New Year’s Resolutions for 2018”

  1. As one of your “fans” who merely observes you from afar, you seem like a great guy. While I agree we should all strive to improve, if I were you, I wouldn’t stress too much over #5…I think you got that one! Keep up the great work. And, is there an offline way to support your site?

  2. Wow, never knew New Years resolutions required so much. I’m glad I’ve never made any ????. Good luck with yours Jeff ????.

  3. May I also suggest that when you do one of the first four items that you mark it on a calendar or make a list and cross it off gives you a sense of accomplishment even if it is one day.

  4. I think one of the best ways to resolve to be better is to make small very accessible goals. Want to drink more water? Start out having one bottle a day. Once you accomplish that, I feel it’s easier to increase the amount incrementally as it won’t be such a sudden change. I feel this process could work with all types of resolutions, walking more, smoking less, eating better. The sense of accomplishment is a great motivator. By the way, Jeff, I think you do an awesome job with your site and all of your correspondence. Looking forward to following you again this upcoming season. Happy New Year, man.

  5. I have to say, your steps resolution actually made me open up my Health app on my iPhone and actually take a look at it. I didn’t realize how little I’ve moved in the past year. (For reference, I averaged just 3,491 steps per day in 2017.) I might actually try to be more conscious of this going forward.

    Good luck with your own resolutions, and all the best in 2018! Hope to see you at at least one Pocono race this year!

  6. I’ve set some health and wellness goals that are similar to yours. I was kind of hoping for a movie-music-montage to fast forward me to July to see how it goes…????

    You do great work, Jeff! Thanks for everything!

  7. For your water goal, use this time now to figure out when and how much you can drink. Make it fit into your life. Always carry water with you – it will be easier to drink if it’s right there. I was trying to figure out what to do about my step goal. I’m probably going to use a weekly average of 50,000 steps. Also, you might want to see if your friends want to keep up a weekly competition since competition usually helps.

  8. As a public health practitioner, I’m going to offer you some unsolicited advice for numbers one and two. I personally drink too much water a day (true story; I’m one of the few who does that). I carry a large bottle, and I’m constantly slugging on it. Carry a reusable bottle that isn’t too onerous (especially since you’ll be getting all those steps in now!) and, carry the bottle with you everywhere. I’ve got bottles in every room in my house; yep, bottles instead of glasses because of my cat. So I’m constantly within arm’s reach of water. Even in the airport, don’t forget that you can take an empty bottle through security and fill it after the screening.

    Also, caffeine-free, calorie-free, sugar-free bevarages can count as “water.” I frequently drink herbal teas, sparkling waters, Diet Canada Dry. I know that doesn’t solve the not-going-to-the-bathroom-at-the-track issue, but it does help with water fatigue. You can totally mix it up without having to have strictly water!

    As for the steps, don’t be afraid to aim for an average of 10K steps by the end of the year or by Month X. You may want to set a mini goal to reach by spring so as to not get discouraged. As an example, I’m disabled, so my step goal is 5,000 steps a day. I’m going to try to up that to 6,000 steps a day this year, but there’s no way I could just try to pound out an extra thousand steps every day (even on average) right away. So I have a plan to work up to it as the weather improves. I’m hoping to get to 5,250 by March; 5,500 by July, etc.

    Good luck, Jeff; we’re all rooting for you!

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