Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Resolution: Doing It Right.

Time for that inevitable post, regarding the most inevitable yearly subject with health and fitness: The "New Year's Resolution".  It's always there, nagging in your face, making you feel bad about yourself when things don't go as planned.  And they never seem to, do they?  It seems like whenever you get rolling on that goal, whether it be big or small, something comes up, and suddenly it takes a back seat to the rest of life.  And when the next January 1st comes sauntering back up the calendar, you remember back on that goal of yours and feel like crap when you realize how you didn't complete it.  Heck, you might not even have come close.  Why does that happen every year?  Why can't, just once, that goal be something you can grasp, complete, and feel great about?  Well, chances are, you're approaching it wrong.

What do I mean?  Well, there are several little seemingly minuscule details that can turn an achievable goal into something vague and inapproachable.  And they really are just little things, mindsets, schedule changes, or details about the goal itself that turn them froFuf m something amazing and inspiring into a demon-like monster, too scary and daunting to really tackle.  Here are a few ways to make sure that you ACTUALLY REACH YOUR GOAL this year, and god will you feel great when you do.  Ready to start?  

First of all, aim high.  That's right, HIGH.  Make it something you have to work toward.  There's a saying I live by (well, workout to), that if you're 100% confident you'll make the lift, it isn't heavy enough.  While this isn't always true, it has a lot of value in all sorts of daily applications.  If your goal is too attainable, sure you might complete it, but what have you really....attained?  Not much, if anything.  Want to lose two pounds?  Great!  Two to four weeks later you might be done, look in the mirror, and say, hell, I don't see a difference.  Why not aim for 10 lbs instead?  Or even 20 lbs?  Maybe more!  WORK HARD!  Make your goal something you really have to reach for, and stay committed.  Do you have any idea how amazing it will be to look in the mirror twenty pounds later to see that lean, mean, sexy machine?  You need to want it, to crave it, to make it your mission.  Attack with vengeance! After all, wouldn't it be nice to be the ONLY one of your friends who actually achieved their goal this year?

Life isn't easy.  Neither are the goals worth achieving.  The drive to complete the questionable and daunting tasks in life are what separate champions from the meek and average.

Second, I find quantitative goals to be more easily graspable.  Think about it.  I'll give you two common "New Year's Resolutions", and you tell me which one is easier to grasp mentally.  First resoltion:  "Eat Healthier and exercise more."  Second resolution:  "Lose fifteen pounds and hit the gym 4 times a week for one hour each session."  By the time the year is through, which one will you be able to look back on and say "I did that," to?  Definitely not the first one.  Well, sure, you could say it, but there's very little actually merit to thinking you ate healthier.  You'll have very little way of knowing actually how much healthier you ate, and how much more often you visited the gym.  Chances are you won't have done much of either, considering the goal is so vague to start.  Make it quantitative, numerical, and in other words, "recordable."  You can record time spent at the gym, calories consumed, weight loss, and easily see what we all commonly refer to as PROGRESS.  Progress is what keeps you pushing.  Visible, obvious progress.  Numbers are what count here.  Numbers.

Third thing to remember is that no excuse is good enough.  I don't care what comes up. 

-Genetics aren't a good enough excuse to blame on your slow weight loss, or poor strength, or a bad mile time.  

-While I agree that work can sometimes be a killer, it's not hard to slip in even half an hour of workout time in the morning, evening, even the middle of the night.  

-Sure family is important, but hey, it wouldn't be hard to include them in some fitness goals, would it?  Go for a hike, a swim, a run, a climb, I don't care, just get out there and work!  

And don't get me started on age.  Have you seen Tony Horton?  If not, google image him (in fact, I'll just save you the trouble here).  He's fifty something!  It's never too late, you're never too old, get those joints moving.  

Yup, Tony Horton.  He's 53 actually.
You have to want it, and in the end no excuse will explain why you didn't reach your goal.  I read a newsletter posted weekly by one of the top weightlifting coaches in the country, Nick Horton, and let me just say he writes some pretty inspiring stuff.  One of the greatest quotes I've read he posted just today, in his New Year's Resolution article:

"Every gym in the country (including my own!) braces itself for the New Year’s Rush. We get new clients in larger numbers than any other time of the year. And by March, nearly every one of them has already quit.

It is not just expected, it is built into the business model.

Putting in hard work in the beginning is meaningless if you're going to throw it all away the instant "real life" starts to rear its head on you. Being busy is not an excuse, having a family is not an excuse, neither is "it's not the right time".

At some point, every person who actually meets their goals learned the biggest lesson of them all:

Consistency requires a PERMANENT lifestyle change."

There you have it, wrapped up in a nutshell.  If you really want to achieve something amazing, no excuse is acceptable.  No matter the cost, you must integrate your goal into your life.  That's how it works, and that's how people become great.  If you put some real thought into it, it's not as hard as you think, and I GUARANTEE YOU CAN DO IT.  

To end this article, I'll share with you my goals.  I am a weightlifter, therefore they involve weightlifting, which is conveniently quantitative.  

I want to clean and jerk 150kg.  
I want to Snatch 100kg
I want to Back Squat 181kg 
I want to get in under a professional weightlifting coach
I want to be at least a lean 175lbs

See?  Quantitative goals.  And by posting them here, I've shown you my very last tip.  Force yourself to see your goals every single day.  Show them to other people.  Create some pressure to achieve what you set out to achieve.  Pressure is what keeps people going, because at the end of the year, people will look at you and say "Hey, did you lose 20lbs?  Did you hit the gym as many times as you said you would?  Where's that six pack?"  And you don't want to let them down, do you?

Try hard, push through the tough times, and never give up.  You are capable of more than you could have ever imagined.  GOOD LUCK!

No comments:

Post a Comment