New Year Resolutions; Do You Need One?
I have never been big on the whole idea of a resolution. I have spent a lot of years watching people make hefty goals at the start of the New Year only to flop by the 2nd week. Gyms are more crowded; everyone wants to lose 10+ pounds and it is typically the busiest time to be a Trainer.
I do however believe in the power of goal setting. It can drive people to reach and strive for bigger and better things. I specifically enjoy short term goals. The low hanging fruit that helps you build up to something big. Small achievements that can keep you motivated for the long haul. This is more powerful than one giant goal on January 1.
There is also the issue of timing. Waiting till January 1, waiting for a Monday, waiting for a new month. Pretty soon we are sitting around just waiting for the perfect moment to start executing our goals and getting nowhere…because there is no perfect moment.
The ONLY perfect moment to make a change is when you’re ready. I’ve seen people rush into a goal not fully on board and 9 times out of 10 they do not succeed. I have helped countless people set goals and one of the most frustrating things is I cannot make them stick to it. I can help. I can make them accountable. I can give them the work to do but at the end of the day if their heart (and mind) isn’t in it, they too will fail.
So, how do you know when it’s the right time? What does it feel like to know you’ve had enough? Here are some things that motivate people to jump into their goal:
Health scares. This is a common one. You go for your annual check-up and your doctor says something like “pre-diabetic”. Something that for most people can be controlled by diet and exercise but still scares the ever-loving shit out of you (and your family). My advice, don’t wait for the scare to happen. Do what you can now so that hopefully you don’t have to be forced into making changes in crisis mode.
The BIG event. “I just want to lose 20lbs by my wedding…next month”. Events can cause unrealistic goals and a lot of misery. I’ve seen it and frankly, I’ve lived it. My advice, if you do small things every single day to improve your health, you’ll always be ready for the BIG event.
Peer Pressure. A spouse or friend may feel like it is with good intention to nag you about losing weight or eating better but c’mon, when has that ever worked as a long-term solution. My advice, look at the relationship. Are you making changes for you or for them? Yes, the changes may be something you need but are you going to strain the relationship further by being resentful? The time needs to feel right to you, no one else.
Enough is Enough. Something happens. You can no longer go upstairs without feeling like you may pass out and roll back down. You avoid situations that involve people outside of your circle because of fear of being judged. You don’t feel good. You don’t feel confident. You can no longer comfortably travel or do things with your kids. My advice, this is your moment. This is when you know you’ve had enough and you’re willing to make small changes daily to make it better.
Getting your life back takes time. This doesn’t happen overnight. You need to make sure you are committed before setting yourself up for failure. Every time you fail, you’re changing your metabolism which can make it harder to lose weight and you’re poking holes in your confidence and self-esteem.
You can avoid failure by:
Having an open conversation with a professional (trainer, coach, therapist) to identify what has held you back in the past.
Allowing the professional to help you set up a plan. If the plan scares you or you don’t think you can stick with it, tell them. They are there to help and guide, not dictate.
Pick the small goals first! Getting some small goals under your belt can really help boost your confidence and your willingness to keep going.
IF you fail don’t let it stop you. Failing doesn’t mean you have to start over. It means you have to wake up tomorrow with the determination to carry on.
Do not expect a miracle. It will take time and it is a life time commitment.
Whether you’re a January 1st goal setter or a June 28th goal setter…don’t let it stop you. You’ll do it when you’re ready succeed and I’ll be cheering for you!