Given the recent welcoming of the new year, there has been no shortage of conversations about self-improvement, planned changes, and a renewed commitment to a goal for 2022. Unfortunately, many of those goals we’re discussing at this current turn of the year are the same ones we were talking about when 19’ turned to 20’ and 20’ turned to 21’. When speaking of progress, this is less than ideal, and something we don’t want to continue repeating if improved health, longevity, and sustained quality of life are things we want to enjoy while actually here. Given the first-hand knowledge I have of how frustrating it is to set your mind to something just to experience failure over and over, I decided to share what I have found to be effective both personally, and with hundreds of individual client cases.

Experience has taught me that the likelihood of long-term and potentially monumental success increases exponentially when we first achieve what may initially seem like nominal, even meaningless, goals. The consequences of maintained incremental improvement become, in time, anything but incremental. You gain compound interest on incremental improvement, no matter how small, because anything is greater than zero. This seemingly small success then increases the likelihood of achieving the next goal.

When working with people to help improve their lives and to provide guidance and direction toward a desired outcome inside the gym or out, there are almost always several achievable, measurable, and relevant goals that are set. I have found that the principles commonly applied to achieving fitness goals are nearly interchangeable with improving areas of our lives, from physical health to interpersonal relationships. Together we establish our aim and break down what you are trying to do into attainable units. Every time you manage an accomplishment, you will get a bit stronger in character, more confident in your ability, more hopeful about the future, and more confident that you can make another change. You must be patient with yourself and reward the incremental improvements and avoid becoming cynical about them. Ideally think, ‘just imagine what would happen if I did this every week for 10 years.’ Things would be so much better for you that you can’t even imagine it.

More commonly referred to as the Matthew Principle (“For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” — Matthew 13:11–12, RSV. ) the Flex Level Fitness 1% rule my clients and supporters often hear me talk about stresses that with even a 1% improvement a week (in any area of our life that we have identified as needing improvement), you can’t begin to fathom how drastically you can improve your life in just a short time. The more we near a cliff’s edge, the greater the likelihood of falling off the cliff. The opposite is also true here, and the more we improve, the greater the likelihood of further improvement.

Although New Year’s resolutions are no doubt disproportionately associated with weight loss, the hope of Flex Level Fitness and Nutrition and Impact Fitness is that the physical goals you aim to achieve with our help in 2022 become your 1% of the monumental improvements and successes you aim to achieve and experience in 2022. May your physical goals be the catalyst for what is your happiest, healthier years ahead.