9 Solutions for Poor New Year’s Resolutions
Whether you call them resolutions, goals or bucket-list items, most of us fail to ever achieve them. Among the most common of the resolutions Americans set is weight loss.
Let’s take a look at where our best intentions usually take us. Then I’ll give you some tools to set you on the path to success. You will be more likely to beat the odds and actually achieve your resolutions as they apply to fitness and other areas of your life for the rest of the year.
1. You don’t really think you’re worth it
If you have a series of New Year’s resolution failures behind you, it’s much harder to believe you will achieve them this year.
Start counting your blessings and strengths and work from there. If you can’t remember what those are, ask a friend, or book a mental health professional for an hour or 12. Just sayin’. Exercise is about loving and caring for yourself, not hating yourself and beating your body into submission.
Keep a log, whether you simply track that you exercised or drank water or that you did one more pushup than two weeks ago. What gets measured gets improved. Seeing success on paper is motivating! So keep a record of how many sets or how many reps of what exercises you are doing. If this gets obsessive or emotionally depleting, remember what I said about that mental health check up.
2. You are waiting for motivation, inspiration, and a Bas Kol (voice from heaven) to call you to the gym.
Even fitness professionals and athletes have days they don’t feel like it. Just do it, like Nike says. Put the workout clothes in your work bag. Place the sneakers at your bedside. Plan for success and don’t wait till you feel like it. That comes in time and for some of us, it’s fleeting anyway, especially at the beginning.
3. You think you are too busy and don’t have time to work out.
Well, maybe you are! You might be a mom of five, have to do four carpools a week, get very little sleep, and have a part-time job on top of it all.
If this sounds like you, set realistic goals in small chunks that fit into your life now, and not for some fantasy life you don’t have. I always ask new clients: Is this the best time for you to begin an exercise program?
Frankly, sometimes it isn’t.You simply don’t have the time and emotional energy for anything else aside from a 10 minute workout or three minute meditation. They might do more for you than an hour at the gym at this time in your life. That’s OK. Don’t think it’s nothing because it’s more than you did before.
4. You hate exercise. You hate eating more veggies. You hate sweating. You hate being sore.
You can find exercises that don’t make you sore or sweat and still count. There are veggies that taste great when you blend them and add a healthy sweetener. You can do a lot of what makes you happy and get to the finish line of goal achievement. You can also learn some things you haven’t tried yet that you do like. Sometimes a little of what you don’t like can be sandwiched between what you do like. So keep an open mind.
5. You are depriving yourself.
If you have a ton of bad habits, crash dieting and weekend-warrior type excessive exercise won’t fix this overnight. In fact, it usually backfires and boomerangs. Forbidden fruit is sweeter. Follow the 80/20 or everything in moderation rule. Go slow and sustainable with your lifestyle changes.
6. You go it alone.
Get support. Walk with a friend, hire a coach, or take a class. It’s easier to drop out of exercise without the support of a group or a friend or accountability of an appointment with a trainer.
7. You forgot WHY you are doing all this in the first place.
Make those goals specific: You want to lose body fat so you can feel sexy and confident.That’s motivating! Maybe you want to have more energy and clarity in every aspect of your life. Say, “This is my hishtadlus (effort) to make sure I don’t get cancer or heart disease. I want to be around to lift my grandkids.”
The more specific and vivid the goal, the more likely you will be to achieve it.
Make a Pinterest board about it, use a photo journal, and write about it. Visualize yourself in that dress, or lifting that weight, or being that diva others admire in front of the class.
8. You expect only success.
You show up to an indoor cycling class, but all the bikes are taken so you go home. You start exercising one day and find you are so sore two days later that you decide exercise isn’t for you and you take the rest of the week off. Your weight loss chart looks more like a Richter scale so you become depressed and lethargic.
Have contingency plans in place when the bikes are taken and you leave your tunes at home or it rains on your parade. Maybe try another exercise or another time of day, or just push through with bad music.
Don’t sweat it if there are ups and downs. Take a long view and be patient with yourself. This is normal and what weight loss looks like in the real world: lots of little ups and downs and only in the long picture is there a downward trend.
9. You have no idea what you are doing in the gym.
You have been doing the same things and you look and feel the same, but you don’t change it up. You know you should exercise but you don’t know what cardio is or how much of it you should be doing or to what intensity. You know nothing about how much to lift or what might pose dangers so you may get injured before you even start.
Here is some deep Hashkafa (philosophy) from a professional trainer: If you want to make a change, do something different! If you always run on the treadmill at five miles per hour and it’s easy for you, your body has adapted and won’t get stronger or faster or leaner anymore that way. Your body needs a challenge.
If you have an all cardio program, you probably won’t get where you want to go without any resistance training after a certain point. Fitness trainers are here to help you workout smarter, not just harder so you can efficiently and safely progress.
Remember that you can do this, whether it’s the New Year, or March 30, or the middle of the summer. Just keep pushing through, seek out support from loving family members, friends, and professionals, and believe in yourself, like I believe in you.