Along with a hangover, a tax return and a winter cold, January usually brings with it a warped sense that, as the clock strikes midnight, we will emerge a better and brighter version of our past selves.
As absurd as we know it is that we should “re-invent” ourselves come 1 January or master a new skill for the new year, setting a new year’s resolution is something that an estimated quarter of Brits do. And, unsurprisingly, most of these centre around bettering ourselves physically.
But many fitness-related new year’s resolutions – as optimistic as they may initially seem – are unlikely to have a very long shelf life, as people gradually fall out of routine just weeks into the calendar year.
And according to sports network platform Strava, there is a certain day on which people who have made fitness resolutions are most likely to give them up: the aptly-named Quitter’s Day.
This year, Quitter’s Day falls on Sunday 19 January, two days later than in 2019.
Strava calculated the date of the occasion by assessing global athlete data from the past 12 months. The platform has more than 48 million members around the world, including 7.5 per cent of the British population.
According to the company, in 2019 its users uploaded 822 million activities onto the sports platform, covering a distance of approximately eight billion miles.
Gareth Mills, UK country manager for Strava, outlined how “staying motivated” when attempting to exercise regularly “is the oldest and biggest problem in health and fitness”.
“At Strava, we believe that people keep people active which is why we connect athletes with like-minded athletes,” he said.
“For example, we know that those who exercise in a group record 10 per cent more activities the month after they join a club, and that cyclists going on group rides cover twice the distance of solo rides.”
I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, because you can start a healthy habit and give up three days later ANY time of year.— Ari Scott (@ariscott)January 2, 2016
My New Year’s resolution is to be more patient. I hope I accomplish this as fast as possible!— Allison Raskin (@AllisonRaskin)December 30, 2019
If you're feeling disheartened about the prospect of not being able to maintain your new year's resolutions, remember you are not alone, as research has found it can take an average of 66 days for a new habit to take hold.
There are also several measures you can take to try and achieve to your aspirations.
According to a study conducted by the Dominican University in California, writing your goals down could significantly increase your chances of realising them.