Ditch Your New Year’s Fitness Resolution?
by Laura Draskovich
New Year, New You. It’s as familiar as pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. What is a New Year’s resolution? It’s a fresh start. It’s hope for a better year…and it’s a great opportunity to set ourselves up for some magnificent failures and disappointments, am I right? The sad truth is, many of us set ourselves up to fail when we make that resolution. Don’t get me wrong, when we remove the “all or nothing” attitude, we can accomplish whatever we set or minds to do. However, it’s by no mistake the gyms are at their near peak enrollment at the first of the year, but members start dropping like flies within a month or so.
January 17 is the official Ditch Your Resolution Day. Did you even know that is an actual day? It sounds like a joke, and it kind of sort of is, but it is also pretty accurate. The number of people that actually keep their resolutions and are successful at achieving them is only 8%. Gym memberships typically skyrocket in January and by the end of month one, maybe two, many of those sad souls retreat in defeat when reality hits them in the face: Results take more time than we often anticipate and getting to them can be very exhausting. Life isn’t always on board with our goals. We have kids, jobs, schedules, and it is often a challenge to get to your New Year’s Fitness Resolutions. Depressing, I know! But having been in the industry for many years, I am giving it to you straight.
The history of Ditch Your Resolution Day is as old as New Year’s resolutions. In the hopeful light of the dawn in the New Year, we all believe that the next year is going to be different, that we won’t go back to our old habits, and we won’t let things continue as they are. What a shame, that year after year, New Year’s resolutions are shown to be as effective as a hole-ridden umbrella at keeping the rain out. January 17 has been dubbed Ditch Your Resolution Day because it’s the most common date people abandon their goal. To help us overcome the odds, every year around this time, the news, television, and the internet are flooded with ideas and advice on how to stick to your goals.
How about something positive?
I have compiled some ideas and tips to help you avoid the pattern I have been describing. If you or a friend or family member is contemplating a New Year’s fitness resolution, these strategies can help you be more successful at reaching your goals.
First, talk about it. Share your success and struggles with friends and family .
Don’t be too too hard on yourself. People are not perfect. You are not perfect. Don’t give up because you ate a brownie on your second day of your clean eating plan. Feelings of disappointment and depression can make us feel like giving up. Don’t. It’s the number one killer of success.
Adopt a New Start each month or season. Treat this New Start as a chance to recommit and assess your fitness and goals. This approach will eliminate the all or nothing mindset which can derail your fitness program.
Assess your goal. As you start out, you may come to realize that working out for two hours a week for a twenty pound weight loss goal might take longer than you think. Your initial goal may need some adjusting. This is not a reason to quit! You have made progress in learning how to better reach your goal.
Make a Fitness Journal. This is a tool which I highly recommend. I have used journaling over the years as a figure competitor to reach my fitness goals. The journal will serve to guide you and can be adapted each week, month, or when you see what works and what doesn’t. It will help you build strategies that do work.
State Your Goal. If you think it, ink it, and you can achieve it.
Example: I will lose 10 pounds by March 1.
Objectives. Make a list of steps that you will take to reach your goal.
Example: a. Drink 3 liters of water each day.
Complete 4 cardio days each week, 45 minutes each session.
Remove processed food and sugar from my diet.
Devise a Plan. In this plan, be as specific as you can. Include obstacles that you may encounter with objectives and how you plan to overcome them.
Assess Your Progress Regularly. Adjust daily if needed to keep you on track.
Remember the three D’s: Discipline, Determination, and Dedication. They will dictate your level of success.
The purpose of a New Year’s Resolution is change and commitment. The New Year is a time of renewal and hope for a better year, and to continue with positive changes in our lives in becoming happier, healthier versions of ourselves. The Road to Success is often paved with struggles and failures. Binge-watching Netflix and having that birthday cake and ice cream might not contribute to you reaching your goal right away, but in healthy moderation, there’s “wiggle room.” Allow yourself to be less than perfect, and then get back on track.
Happy New Year 2018!!!