For people who are all about New Year's resolutions, the end of the year represents the perfect opportunity for understanding who you are, and who you'd like to become. If you happen to be one of those people, and you got one of those fancy-shmancy DNA kits for the holidays, you're probably looking forward to getting your results back and discovering what they say about your background. Interestingly enough, new research suggests that some of these DNA tests might also have a lot to say about your future — the future success of how likely you are to keep your New Year's resolutions, that is.
According to U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of New Year's resolutions fail after the first month of the year. This may not be totally due to a lack of willpower or focus, though, so don't give yourself a hard time if you've promised to read more for the last 10 years and it's never really happened. Grab your 23andMe results and prepare to take charge of your goals in 2019, because a new study from the biotechnology company sheds some light on who might have an upper hand in succeeding at certain resolutions.
The company ran a three-year study using data from 75,000 23andMe customers (who all agreed to participate), and asked about whether they had made New Year's resolutions and how well they had followed through on their promises to themselves. About 21 percent of participants had made resolutions, and 41 percent of that group followed through on whatever they had planned to do in the new year. Besides general statistics like this, though, 23andMe also looked for patterns between genetics and what that meant for a person's ability to stick to certain goals.
For example, the way your muscles are built could make it easier or more difficult to meet certain fitness goals as opposed to others. "Those who, according to 23andMe, are genetically predisposed to having muscle composition of slow-twitch fibers — associated with endurance athletes — can aspire to train for a marathon," Liza Crenshaw, communications manager at 23andMe, tells Elite Daily in an email.
"A 23andMe customer can improve the likelihood of sticking with their resolution by selecting one that is more attainable according to their results," Crenshaw further explains. In another scenario, if your test results show that you're likely to have a hard time digesting dairy products because you're genetically predisposed to lactose intolerance, you might consider resolving to cut back on how much cheese you eat in 2019 and see if that has a positive impact on how you feel.
No matter what your genetic results are, what you determine to do is the most important indicator of your success. "Genetic predisposition simply indicates what your genes say is likely and is only one factor in determining physical or phenotypic outcomes," Crenshaw explains. In other words, just because you're genetically predisposed to have a harder time running marathons, or to get an upset stomach after wolfing down a milkshake, doesn't mean that you have to give up your passion for running or your love for ice cream (besides, Lactaid pills were invented to be used, right?). "However, [the test] is one indicator of the types of activities you might have an easier time pursuing," Crenshaw says.
Bottom line: Use your 23andMe results as a jumping-off point if you're feeling a little lost as to what you want to focus on changing in 2019 — but remember that your own hard work and perseverance are ultimately what's going to make you shine.