I would say that the majority of people set New Year resolutions for themselves, yet time and time again they fail within the first month. Many people say “I’m going to get in shape” but if you have not defined what “in shape” means, you are already on the path to failure. We all have good intentions and want to create better versions of ourselves, and despite what some people say, a new year’s resolution is a fine place to start to create a “new you.”
Here are some tips that will keep you from fizzing out within the first 30 days.
“In shape” or “in better shape” is frankly, far too general. It needs to be defined. What is the purpose of your goal? Do you want to lose weight? If so, how many pounds? By when? Do you want to run a marathon or half marathon? Great! When do you want to run it? Do you want six pack abs? Who doesn’t right? Well that’s awesome, but what is it going to take to make that that happen? How about, “You want to be a beast!” Also, an awesome goal, but what does a beast look like to you? What size arms, chest, or much weight does this vision move in your goal? These are questions you need to ask yourself and once you find your answers, here it is…write them down.
Generalized statements can set you up for failure. If you don’t have an actual goal it’s unlikely that you will ever achieve it. If you take the time to envision what you want and you are off to a good start. The other benefit to writing your goals down is you can feel a great sense of accomplishment when you look at where you were, and where you are now. It can keep you going!
TOO MUCH TOO SOON
Many people who come up with a fitness goal want to do much too soon. When someone wants to lose weight it often starts out with great excitement and motivation. Often a gym membership or some home equipment is purchased. With all best intentions they decide “I will work out every day as soon as I get up for six days a week!” This might sound like a great idea but if you haven’t set foot into a gym within 6 months do you really think you will be able to go from zero workouts to six workouts in a week without burning out? Or worse, injuring yourself? Try maybe 2-3 workouts a week (or something that you feel you can stick too) when starting your fitness journey. Then it will be easier for your to achieve your goals and you will be inspired to continue them.
We all want to be in shape NOW! Many people who establish a new year’s resolution become discouraged when they have been working out for 15 days (or even 30) and have not met their goal. Many people forget, if it took you a year or two to gain this weight, how long do you think it’s going to take to get rid of it? Do not get sucked into this way of thinking. You have to give this process time. I am telling you now, you will see results if you give it at least 90 days. So set your goal there and I promise you will see results. This is also why writing goals down is important. Your brain sometimes needs time to catch up to your body. You may feel the same but if you look at where you were and where you are now, it can really boost your confidence and keep you from quitting.
DON’T STARVE YOURSELF
Fad diets DO NOT WORK! Every year about this time amazing diets pop up to help people lose weight. “Try this new (insert insanity here) diet and you will drop 50lbs!” I think we all know this is bullshit, but people fall for it. Don’t get sucked into these lies. As you start to workout (or even if you don’t) it’s easy to make simple changes in your eating habits. Even something as simple as just cutting out soda or not getting fast food super-sized can make a big difference in your body and your fitness goals. On the other hand, if you are working out daily and you think that only eating a cup of yogurt and a rice cake is going to get you through the day, you will quickly regret that decision and your resolution will be quick memory. Always be conscious and smart about what you are eating and good results will start to happen.
MISERY LOVE COMPANYSadly, some people will want you to fail. When you stick with your workout routine longer than your friend who said they wanted to get in shape with you, but they drop out within the first 20 days, that person might want you to quit as well. Do not let peer pressure deter you from succeeding in your goals. It’s easier to bring people down than it is to lift them up. Some of your friends might try to sabotage your goals so they can feel better about themselves as well. A true friend has your back and will help, not hinder. Find another workout buddy and move on!