We are just a few days from the New Year and the fitness kicks will all be starting within the next week.
These resolutions get such a bad rap because of the low success rate.
By March, these resolutions will just be another statistic in categories of lost resolutions and gyms taking advantage of the early exit.
Most gyms actually plan on members not showing up past March after signing up for a year. Maybe it’s because I do not work at a commercial gym, but I would be out of a job if people stopped showing up for my groups.
Not to get off topic, but there are some steps needed to be successful to follow through on a New Year’s resolution.
Ask Yourself Why and How
This helps to narrow down the goal and I have done a whole post on it before. If you want to lose 10 pounds, ask yourself why. What will losing the ten pounds mean for you?
It could be looking better in the mirror or fitting into clothes that are sitting in the closet.
Fixating with a number on the scale is discouraging. You can train really hard and fit into those old clothes again without necessarily changing your weight.
Weight is just a number it does not hold a lot of merit. If you are working to look better, weigh yourself in the mirror and take pictures to track progress.
When coming up with a strategy you must ask yourself how. How are you going to get stronger? Lift weights and do less cardio is a more defined strategy than just saying go to the gym.
Be specific and you will be off to a solid start.
Do you have 2 hours a day, 5 days a week to be going to the gym? Probably not. My guess is that you have some kind of job and family that would like attention too.
Starting with an unrealistic strategy is going to send you down the road to failure.
It is always better to over-deliver rather than not meet the expectation. This means that if you plan for 3 days per week, most weeks, then the weeks that you go 4 times is really just extra.
Choose something that is reasonable for you to do and you can add to it later if your schedule allows. Trying to go all out when you cannot sustain it is going to be problematic.
Prioritize Your Training
If you really want to meet a health/fitness goal, then you need to make time for it. This might mean skipping a TV show or waking up earlier in the morning but you cannot play hide and seek with gym time. It is very good at hiding.
Instead of trying to find time for the gym, determine a routine. Pick days and times that are least likely to conflict with trips to the gym and stick to them. Do not let anything else get in the way because you are unavailable during that time.
People that are serious about their training are the most consistent. They train at the same time, on the same days, and do not miss training sessions.
What you Eat Plays a Huge Role
This one is simple for fat loss goals. If you eat like crap, your progress at the gym is going to be disappointing. The phrase gets thrown around a lot, but I really do not feel that you can out-train a bad diet.
Improving your diet is going to enhance any progress that you would make normally. A little bit of exercise is not going to make a huge impact if dinner consists of pizza and cookies.
I know that people work and have other things going on but you have to make time to prepare healthy food. There is really no way around it.
Going out to get a salad also does not count as a healthy choice. It may be better than a chicken finger platter but it is not a great option.
Pick a day to prepare food for the week, incorporate a slow cooker that you start before you leave in the morning, or take 30 minutes from your day to cook dinner instead of eating out.
Meeting your goal can be done, if you want it. It is not going to be easy but it can be simple.
Prioritize your tasks, be realistic with yourself, define your goals, and remember the whole picture.
So here is the challenge. For the month of January, write down the times that you can go to the gym. Make sure they are not times where something is going to get in the way.
Along with that, determine which days you will be able to cook a good meal compared to the days that will need something already prepared.
This planning will get you on the fast track to success in the New Year.