What’s your resolution? Chances are that no matter what your resolutions are this year, you have some work ahead of you. Being in the fitness industry has given me a firsthand experience working with New Year resolutions. For each person that achieves their resolution there are at least 10 that do not, and another 10 that don’t even come close.
So what is it that sets those who meet their New Year goals apart from those that don’t?
The successful individuals adhere to these five guidelines below.
5. DEFINE THE GOAL!
What is your resolution? Let’s take one I hear pretty often, “I want to get in shape”. So what is shape? Round is a shape, an isosceles triangle is a shape - what does “shape” mean to you? The answers vary for each individual but the key things to identify are always the same.
What is shape? Is it: weight loss, going down a dress size, gaining more muscle, running a 5k?
Goals need to be real. There needs to be a clear projection of what to strive for. Otherwise, it ends up falling into the realm of imaginary and intangible. One simple way to define a goal is to ask yourself “if I could see myself in three months what would I want to be different?” Once you have a solid idea of what it is you are working towards, double check to make sure it is realistic. Chances are you won’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in three months.
4. GET EDUMACATED!
I once had a mentor tell me fitness advice is like getting advice on building a shed. Everyone has some idea or opinion on how to build a shed, regardless of whether or not they have ever seen a shed. Same thing with fitness advice - everyone has some secret or tip to help you drop those last 10lbs.
The only thing is that your health and fitness isn’t a shed, its heart surgery! While everyone has good intentions and opinions, filter out the expert advice and learn the methods that will be effective for YOU!
A solid plan requires reliable information. Building a plan using only anecdotal information is like using a map of Chicago to get around New York. It just don’t cut it! Get educated, use the resources at your fingertips, and don’t neglect the human element. One session with a good personal trainer will get you more information than countless hours on the fitness message boards.
3. MAKE A PLAN!
Quick let’s pretend that at this very moment a fire breaks out in the room/bus/plane/train you are in. What do you do? Most of us we would follow the emergency evacuation plan, i.e. find the nearest exit call 911. Some of us would charge into the fire bare chested maybe saving a child or two while shouting “GET TO DA CHOPPA!”
All things aside there is a plan to ensure success. Often times resolutions fizzle because there is no direction, you know where to go but have no idea how to get there. Make plans in short increments two to four weeks, long enough to get results, short enough so as to not get bored. Always have a plan B. No plan is perfect but having an outline will keep you on track.
(Here is a simple workout plan I like to use to get myself going)
2. DIG DEEP!
So you have a clear goal and a solid plan. But chances are even with these tools you are still likely to lose momentum and resort to your old habits. The human brain is remarkable, and it hates you and your change! Your mind will resist change like an oiled up slender man in a YMCA steam room. Our minds are programed to avoid taking on more work. (Residual code left over from when we hunted and gathered our food and had to preserve energy.)
Not only will your mind resist you but sometimes even your friends will turn on you. Everyone loves company and no one likes to be left behind. When you declare that you are resolved to change, all your compatriots in bad habit will be a constant reminder of how much you miss your old vices.
If there is no why behind your resolutions then there is no motivation to follow through.
I once had a client who wanted to lose weight. After we identified the how much weight he wanted to lose and how long he had to work with, I turned to the why. I asked him his motivation for losing weight right now. What brought him to the gym today?
He paused for a second then reached for his wallet and pulled out a picture of his son. He explained his son was now eight and loves to play outside and go for hikes. When his son was younger he could keep up with no problem, but now his son was getting a little faster and he couldn’t keep up without having to stop to catch his breath. He said “I don’t want my health and weight to limit the relationship I have with my son”.
6 months later that guy was kicking butt, and came back saying “Now my son is the one asking me to wait up”.
Dig deep! Find the motivation behind your resolution, something that will drag your butt off the couch and keep you pushing.
1. PACE YOURSELF!
When I had just started personal training one of my early clients told me how motivated she was to lose weight and how she was super dedicated, nothing was going to get in her way! She insisted on training five days a week in spite of the fact that she had no gym experience. Finally I was able to talk her down to training only three days a week to start.
By the end of her first week her muscles were really aching. By the time the second week came around her performance and commitment was starting to drag. By the third week she stopped showing up.
This is usually how most resolutions will burn out. The initial drive and motivation is at 150%. This is the year you are going to beat all those nasty habits, bringing out all the stops this time. The initial push is phenomenal, but not sustainable, and eventually progress stops and goals are abandoned. Some will have the resolve to get back up, many others will call it quits and say “eh there’s always next year”.
Work within your means - “Don’t ride the Saint Bernard like a Shetland Pony” my uncle used to say. Take it slow if you feel tired stop and if you feel ready, PUSH!
So when planning your New Year resolution remember these 5 simple solutions.
Or for us acronym inclined DLPD.
Good luck and happy resolving!
Need some help with your Resolutions? Get help. Contact an AFIT coach today!