It’s that time again folks, the time to make those resolutions to hit the gym, lose a couple of pounds, and eat mega healthy… for like, two months.
It happens to the best of us. We want a better us, and the beginning of a new year seems to be the best time to start our improvements. With the best intentions we start strong and fade out fast. Even if you aren’t planning on making a “New Year’s Resolution”, this list could still be helpful in making and keeping goals. No matter if those goals are gym-related or not, read on my friend; there may be something for everyone.
1. Stop calling them ‘resolutions’
Okay, I know this sounds odd, but hear me out. Your brain does an awesome job of connecting learned definitions to words or phrases, regardless of the original meaning of the word. This is known as connotation vs. denotation, and don’t worry I won’t get into the psychology behind any of this. Just know that your brain has already connected the word resolution with crash diets and obnoxious newcomers clogging up gym equipment for a couple of months, then disappearing for the rest of the year. So stop. Pick another word.
2. Be realistic
New goals are supposed to push you a bit, but aiming too high will just set you up for failure. Don’t create unrealistic goals you’ll struggle to meet. All this is going to do is frustrate you early on and make it more likely that you’ll quite early. For example, if you want to start hitting the mats four or five times a week but you haven’t even seen your gi in a month, maybe you shouldn’t make your resolution to go twice a day, four times a week.
3. Take baby steps
This is going to tie into number two quite a bit, especially if you ignore my advice in number two. When you finally come out with your list, consider making stepping-stones up to larger goals. So, if you really, really want to go twice a day four times a week, maybe start by just going twice or three times for a few months before bumping it up. I know this sounds obvious, but the number of people who decide to skip this step is astounding. Make goals, make sub-goals, hit your sub-goals solid, keep those sub-goals, and then go for the big ones.
4. Celebrate the small stuff
Don’t wait to grab a celebration beer on your cheat day until you reach the summit. Instead, allow yourself to be proud of each and every victory. Not only will this keep you motivated, it’s an excuse to drink more beer!
5. Never. Ever. Ever give up
I think the thing that gets most people is that motivation starts out strong, then quickly fades. Whatever you might do or try, whoever you are, motivation will abandon you. Once that drive runs away, it leaves a lot of people lost. You’re going to have to force yourself. You’re going to have to learn to get through crap training, crap rolls, and crap workouts and come back again in the morning. Make yourself get up and go train before work. Make yourself choke down that nasty-ass protein shake. You have to be driven forward by pure determination to get where you want to be. And if you fall off the wagon, get back on ASAP. Stop waiting for Monday or the “right time”, whatever that means. Get your teammates, friends, or family involved. Set your alarm, hell set ten alarms. Give yourself a cookie every time you hit a goal. I don’t care; just do what you have to do to get it done.
You can always ignore all of this, make your excuses two weeks from now and make this year another repeat of last year.
Or, we can get to work and make it happen.
Best of luck and Happy New Year!