I’m So Over New Years Resolutions, But…

I’m so over New Years resolutions. Aren’t you? Do you really ever follow through with them? I personally believe that if you are serious about making a legit change to your life you wouldn’t wait until January 1st to get started. But despite my feelings toward resolutions, and being that I’m a personal trainer, I do see the importance of people using ANYTHING as motivation to start living a healthier lifestyle.

I thought about getting into the semantics of the difference between goals and resolutions as many people do, but ultimately decided that’s not very important. What’s important is that you want to do something big with your life in the New Year and possibly make a lasting change! My advice? Go at it very GRADUALLY! Don’t overwhelm yourself with a ton of new life changes on January 1st. Take it step by step, otherwise, you might crash and burn, which is probably why you never followed through with your resolutions in the past. Here’s the best way to go about it:

1. Break your resolution down into small, realistic, attainable goals. Say your resolution is that you want to lose 20 lbs this year. Definitely realistic depending on how much fat you have to lose. Then break that down into the changes (smaller goals) you’ll need to make to achieve that resolution. Some examples of smaller goals could be adding 3 days of 30-60 minutes of exercise, daily dog walks, drinking more water, eating more protein and veggies, and decreasing your consumption of processed foods.

2. Meet your goals one by one. Don’t try to attack two goals at once if you can’t handle attacking one at a time. Make sure it becomes a habit before moving on to the next habit-forming goal. You’ll want to do this because it’ll make attacking the next goal much easier.

3. Maintain your habit changes for the long haul. Don’t decide on January 1st that you’re going to go from 0 to 7 days a week of hardcore, intense training and revert your crappy diet to a “clean” diet consisting of only 1200 calories overnight. 1. You’re going to be a miserable SOB that no one wants to be around, and 2. You’re going to fail…real hard. By taking things one step at a time and making realistic changes that you can keep in your life for the long haul, you will be MUCH more successful!

Like my husband (and quite possibly your grandma) always says, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” View your resolution as one, big elephant and those little bites as the smaller goals. You just have to chip away at them by slowly changing your habits. Eventually you will realize that you have accomplished something huge and actually made a true resolution!

Image attributed to Sean Gallo. www.seangallo.com

Image attributed to Sean Gallo. http://www.seangallo.com

In case you’re curious if I have any resolutions, well, not really. I’ll be doing a lot of business-related things this year which I’m really (!!!) excited about, but that’s not really a resolution. I also think I’m kind of past the point of wanting to make any major physique changes and I want to put that focus into other things. I’m pretty content and happy with my body these days, and really, isn’t that the overall goal? Don’t get me wrong, I have no plans to cease my training and give up my healthy, moderate diet. But they won’t be on the forefront of my mind. At this point they are a given in my life. They are habits and important players in my lifestyle that will never disappear. But now that that is the case, I can put some focus and energy into some new things!

Good luck on your resolutions this year! Remember, “slow and steady wins the race!”

Happy New Year!

I’m baaaaack! Yes, it’s true. I’m back to blogging. I hit a dry-spell for a while, but the new year is a great opportunity to give myself a kick in the butt and focus again.  Besides, a list of my New Years resolutions is a way easy topic to write about, albeit, it’s a bit cliche’. BUT, it’s proven that writing down your goals and sharing those goals with other people helps you stick to them.  So here goes nothin’!

1. Hit 15%-16% body fat and maintain it!

Yes, I realize it’s vain, but I want to see if I can maintain my body fat at around 15-16%.  “Losing weight” is not a measurable goal and I don’t care how many pounds I lose, so I’m aiming for a specific body fat level. 15-16% is pretty low for a female but I’m going to give it a shot.  What’s my plan?  Consistency with my diet!

Here's an idea of what some body fat levels look like, courtesy of Leigh Peele. I'm shooting for the one in the middle.

2. Become a Certified Personal Trainer

I am currently studying my NASM materials to become a CPT, so it’s already a goal of mine.  Now I just have to follow through. So far, so good.  BTW, teaching yourself anatomy? Not easy… The plan is to become an independent trainer.  I just can’t work for “the man” anymore, so wish me luck!

3. Blog More

I would like to make sure that I blog more this year.  I was on a good kick for a while, writing nearly once a week.  Maybe I could hit at least once every two weeks, but ideally I’d like to be writing once a week again.  I’ve recognized the fact that I often have a hard time coming up with topics, so if you have any topics you’d like me to discuss, shoot them my way!

4. Get better at recording my lifts.

Lately I’ve been so horrible at writing down how much I’m lifting and for how many reps. This bad habit makes it difficult to progress in any way.  So I’m going to follow a solid program and write down exactly what I’m doing so I can make daily training goals and hit some new PRs! (Um, “personal records”…in case you didn’t know.)

It’s definitely not necessary to wait for the new year to make resolutions and goals, but it’s fun to jump on the band wagon! Hey, everyone is doing it, right!? So I hope you have made some goals for yourselves. If you have, it’s best to write them down and read them every day and even share them with other people in your life.  If you read them every day then you are forced to hold yourself accountable for meeting those goals.  If you share your goals with others, then they get to hold you accountable for meeting your goals as well.  Who wants to let themselves and others down?  Not me!