Strava says your New Years Resolutions are going to waver now, unless you take action

The day your goals are most likely to crumble has arrived - you can let it happen, or you can use that knowledge to go against the grain


Strava has delved deep into its data universe to reveal that Friday January 12 is the day when British riders are most likely to abandon their New Years Resolutions.

The social media ride sharing site says that data from over 4 million UK based activities – and 31.5 million global activities – allows them to pinpoint the day on which motivation fades.

Asked for their methodology, Strava told Cycling Weekly: "Strava looked at data from 31.5 million uploaded January activities; discounting regular weekly trends, we saw that the second Friday in January saw the biggest percentage drop in activity, bucking the weekly trends that we’d expect to see all-year-round.

"The data showed a 17.3 per cent drop compared to the average amount of activity uploads expected for that particular day of the week in January."

>>> The benefits of cycling

There is light in the darkness, though (well, until about 4.15pm at in the current depths of January). Strava has dived further into its data pool to establish what common traits increased the chances of a rider, or runner, keeping up with their goals.

>>> How to get faster and increase your average speed 

Five common traits came up:

Exercising with friends

According to Strava, training with others leads to people being 22 per cent more active. There are lots of social and race focused clubs and groups around, and it doesn't take a lot of searching to find one that suits you. This leads nicely on to the second trait..

Joining a club

Sotonia CC enjoying a coffee stop

Those who were part of cycling clubs (we assume on Strava) were 46 per cent more active. Of course, this relationship works both ways - those riding all year are more likely to be part of clubs. However, joining a cycling club has so many benefits - you'll always have buddies to show you new routes, gain a whole new social circle, and have immediate access to a wide range of cycling skill sets (assuming you join a good cycling club).

Setting a goal

People who set race goals were 92 per cent more likely to still be active ten months later. Setting a goal - be it a sportive, time trial, road race or something else - gives you plenty of motivation. Once you've got a goal in mind, it's relatively easy to create a training plan (even one that's specific to the winter weather) that will lead you nicely up to the big day, too.

Training in the morning

Get your training in early for success. Photo: Dan Gould

Regular exercisers were more likely to get it out the way in the morning, according to Strava. And it makes sense - get your riding done early and nothing can get in the way. Plan to do it in the evening, and you never know what will happen in the interim... do those rides fasted for the best January bulge beating results (but not too often if you're after performance and speed).

Run or bike commuting 

Those who cycle to work (or run) during the week were found to be 43 per cent more active at the weekend. Again, the likelihood is that the two are inter-related - people who take their riding more seriously are more likely to want to cram in the miles either side of the working day. But the fact still stands - commuters ride more, every day of the week.

Gareth Mills from Strava, said: “Sticking to resolutions is hard and we all know there’s a lot of talk and pressure in January about getting fitter and being healthier. A key factor in success is motivation, and analysing millions of activity uploads, we’ve been able to pinpoint the day your motivation is most likely to waver.”

>>> How often should I cycle to get fit?

He added: “However, it doesn’t have to be like this. We also used our data to analyse ways that active people can get through this time.”

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.

Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor. 

Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.