It’s that time of year again, the time when most are bombarded with messages of New Year’s resolutions and how to not fail in your health and fitness endeavors this time around. If you ask me, that should be the first red flag, that we have to talk about starting over, again. We will get to that in a bit, but I want to take the conversation in another direction and ask some hard-hitting questions that will hopefully provoke personal evaluation to correct miscues on the road to success in 2015.
I’m quite sure I don’t have to give the definition of “insanity” as defined by Albert Einstein, but I will for the sake of those that may need a refresher. The definition of insanity (and not the highly marketable living room workout program) is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So if we approach a new year the same way we always have, we can expect the same results.
This is one explanation for why you receive countless messages from guys like me this time of year on how to avoid this insanity from happening again. But I would like to take another swing at it, from another direction this time. I plan to get real here, and hold nothing back, not to offend anybody, but to awaken and highlight some of the mistakes we make when attempting to bring about change in our lives. SO if you are truly ready to bring about some real change in your life, stick around and answer some questions.
Questions to Ask
It’s time to ask yourself some important questions. These questions may sting a bit, but they need to be answered. Here are some examples:
- Do you wait until January to make a change instead of acting right now?
- Do you neglect evaluating last year’s failures instead of airing your grievances like you do when celebrating Festivus, and determining a course of action from there?
- Do you set a weight-loss/fat-loss goal without knowing the actual cost of being that lean?
- When working toward a weight-loss goal, do you dive into caloric restriction, eliminating entire food groups (such as carbohydrates) instead of adding better choices of that food group?
- Do you have the mindset of giving something up instead of gaining a better behavior?
- Do you keep your goals to yourself, making it easier to give up on them?
- Do you think the harder you work in the gym (with your new membership as of January 1), the more you deserve a “treat” when you get home?
- Are you blind to known hurdles and fail to plan for them?
How to Say Goodbye to Resolutions Forever
Now, if you would like to be able to ignore New Year’s resolution messages for the rest of your life, follow these steps:
- Define the triggers that lead to poor choices: Get your mind right and the rest will follow. If you don’t, you will be right back where you started because you focused on the symptoms and not the problem.
- Focus on behavior changes: For example, it’s behaviors that cause weight gain, not Milky Ways.
- Stay positive: There are going to be bumps in the road, but remain positive about the path. Here’s a take-home strategy for you to try. When you find yourself rehashing your day (with someone or yourself), start by listing at least two positives from the day before listing the flaws of the day. You will find that the conversation and your attitude will take a much different and more positive direction.
- Have a timeline and sense of urgency: Have you heard the saying “a goal is a dream with a deadline”? If there is no deadline, there is no urgency, making it easier to give up on the end result. Have a timeline and work every day to reach that deadline.
- Make the goal scary: Your goal should scare you. If it doesn’t, it’s not big enough! Don’t be afraid to reach further than you can imagine while keeping a level head about what is achievable.
- Ink It: If you think it, you need to ink it. I learned that from Martin Rooney at Training for Warriors. It’s one of the best pieces of advice I have received from him. Write down where you want to be—it’s powerful!
- Look at them daily: After you took the step of writing your goals (I also like to call them “promises”), post them where you will see them on a daily basis. This will keep your daily intentions toward achieving those things you have set out to accomplish.
- Make it public: Tell somebody, anybody, what you want to accomplish. You not only created an accountability partner, you made the goal real by sharing it. Make it real, and then make it happen!
I am a firm believer that one succeeds from failure because they don't make the same mistake twice. If you are tired of starting over, stop making the same mistakes that will inevitably allow you to stumble again. Take this chance to make a fresh start with the process of making a new ending.
Start right with a free fitness assessment of where you currently are and build from there.
This blog was written by Tony Maloney, Health Fitness Specialist and Fitness Center Manager. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.