By Carl “Redbeard” Simpson
It’s that time of year, when many of us start those New Year’s resolutions. Time to lose 10 pounds. Time to eat right. Time to stop yelling in traffic on 98. Whatever your resolution is, there is a not-so-small chance it will fail. Let’s talk about a few pitfalls and how to avoid them.
Set specific and realistic goals. You have to know what you want to do before you do it. Is your goal to eat right? Do some real research on what diet will work best for you and your lifestyle. There are a ton of diets that have merit to them. No diet will work if it doesn’t fit you. No matter what you choose, cheese puffs, candy bars and sodas are out. Is your goal to get in better shape? What does that mean to you?
Give yourself real numbers to hit as far as weight loss and, preferably, check and use your body fat percentage as a guide. Take the time to be introspective and figure out what your actual goal is, write it down and become accountable to the numbers. Be realistic with your goals. Look at it honestly, and make sure it is actually doable. If you can start now and work your way to it, even if it takes a long time…do it.
Eliminate the outside noise. This one can be touchy, but here goes. Not everyone will be supportive of your resolutions. I see this more than I should, where a person close to a client isn’t very supportive or, in some cases, downright dismissive of someone’s desire for change. Have frank discussions with those people and let them know how much this means to you. You will probably find that their own insecurities are coming through. If that doesn’t work, put on your headphones and tune them out. This is about you and your health and happiness.
Buy in fully. I mean this both literally and figuratively. You want to get in better shape? Get a butt or some nice arms? Buy a gym membership, personal trainer or home workout equipment. Throwing money away by not using it can be a great motivator. Throw out—or better yet, donate—all your junk food and only have healthy options at home. Buy some nice clothes that you don’t fit into yet. Only way you get in them is to work at it. Whatever your goal, find a way to strap yourself in.
Stop giving yourself excuses. We are all very awesome at giving ourselves reasons to not get something done. Keep workout clothes in your car. Pack your lunch if you can’t find healthy options for food. Stay out of the bar after work. I promise that you will give yourself a hundred reasons not to do something. Anticipate them and get ahead of them.
Also, just because you missed a workout or strayed off your path a little does not mean that you give up. I find that this is the most likely reason for failure. We miss one or two days of exercise. We stray from our diet one week and then we quit. Your goal is for a lifetime, so you can come back from a bad week. Stop making excuses and get back in there.
If you are going to be successful at your New Year’s resolution, it’s going to be hard work. Make it fun. Find someone who is looking to do something similar and team up. Find a way to hold yourself accountable. When you reach that goal, don’t let up. Set a new one. You will be amazed at what you can get done. Go make yourself proud.
As always, see you next month. If you have any questions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Til next time…