Well, it’s that time of year again. The holidays are over, the New Year is here, resolutions have been made, and the gym parking lots look like Atlanta rush hour at 5pm on a rainy day. Of course, the number one resolution this year will once again be to lose weight and get healthy…and once again over 95% of people will fail and fall off the wagon before January even ends.
I am all for resolving to get fit and healthy. I think there is no more important pursuit in life than health; without it we have nothing. The issue I have with New Year’s resolutions is that people are resolving to get fit, lose weight, and get healthy for all the WRONG reasons. They do it because, well, that’s what you’re supposed to do in the New Year, right?
That’s like someone telling you they are getting married because they’ve been with their significant other for 3 years and getting married is just what you’re “supposed” to do next. If someone told you that you would probably think that marriage is doomed from the get go.
That’s what I think when people tell me “It’s the new year…time to get in shape!”
This is because they are approaching it with the absolute wrong mindset. Getting fit and healthy should be much higher on the priority list than something you decide to do every January. Getting healthy and fit is something you do because you want to feel good, look good, live a long time, set a good example for your family, avoid the doctor as much as possible, have energy, etc. These things aren’t only important in January. They’re important all the time!
Exercising, eating right, getting enough sleep, and limiting stress are not easy things do. Therefore when you do them for the wrong reason you almost zero chance for success. There’s just not enough internal motivation there to push through when times get tough…and they will get tough. That is the inherent reason that New Year’s resolutions almost always fail.
If you are serious about getting healthy once and for all don’t start by making a New Year’s resolution. Start by changing your mindset and figure what is your true motivation. Once that’s determined then go ahead and make the resolution. Just don’t let the resolution BE your motivation. As the saying goes “To change your life you have to change yourself. To change yourself you have to change your mindset”.
One last piece of advice I will give you to help your chances of success in the New Year is do not make weight loss your primary goal. Even when you are doing things right weight loss can be a weird and funny thing. Weight loss is rarely linear. There are peaks, valleys, and plateaus. You can lose 5 pounds one week, two pounds the next week, and no pounds the week after that. While that is very normal, it can lead to frustration and a belief that all this hard work is not worth only losing two pounds in two weeks.
Instead, how about exercising and eating right to be healthy, to feel good, to live a longer life, and a happier life. When you exercise and eat right these things will happen and frustration will often be avoided. Fixate on the number on the scale and you will often be let down, frustrated, and confused. The best past is if you concentrate on these other goals the weight loss will happen as well!
So this New Year do not even think about getting fit and healthy unless you focus on the right goals, change your mindset, and do it for the right reasons and utilize the right motivations.
Happy New Year and make it a great 2014!
Jason Goggans, B.A., ISSA Specialist in Nutrition, ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, graduate of the University of Florida and fitness professional located in Marietta, GA. Goggans is the co-owner of Warrior Pride Fitness CrossFit on Dallas Hwy and has posted more information on his website www.WarriorPrideFitness.com. Or, call Jason @ (678)236-9739.