There are three things that are certain in life: death, taxes, and failed New Year’s resolutions.
While the obvious aforementioned are beyond our control, I’m here to tell you that this nation’s most common year-end pledge, to lose those extra pounds and get in shape, doesn’t have to end in disappointment. Follow below for your sure-fire guide to setting yourself up for a happy and healthy 2018 and beyond!
Don’t Wait Until January 1st
Rule number one (and this applies across the board): don’t wait until tomorrow (or in this case, the turn of the New Year) to get started on something you want right now. In other words, get the heck started on your health and fitness journey as soon as possible. Everyday, you’re either getting closer to, or further away from, your goal—no matter what that may be. Whether it’s to lose 30 pounds or get in the best shape of your life for the upcoming football season, adopting this mentality will go a long way to keeping you on track.
To lend some perspective, think about it like this: If your iPhone crapped out today, would you wait until January 1st to get it fixed? What about your television or your smart watch? My point is, so many of us prioritize our gizmos and gadgets over our own health—and it’s a problem.
The fact of the matter is, we were all born as fine-tuned automobiles—and, everyday, we’re given the choice as to whether or not we’ll be whipping around in a Porsche or an Astro Van (there’s nothing wrong with an Astro, but you get my point).
Choose to invest in yourself NOW. It’ll be the best investment you’ll ever make.
Set Reasonable and Attainable Goals
I’m willing to bet none of us got into our current shape overnight. We didn’t wake up one morning with 30 extra pounds around our waist just like none of our favorite athletes woke up suddenly being able to run a 4.3 40 or throw down 360 degree slam dunks. I know it’s not what we want to hear, but it takes time for the body to change—both for better and worse. The point is, you’re not going to become a fitness juggernaut in one day, one week, or even one month after years and years of nutritional neglect.
This can be discouraging and often contributes to people falling off the proverbial “fitness wagon” only a few, brief months into every New Year. Ever go to the gym from January to March? It’s pandemonium until the fickle “resolutionists” are weeded out. My guess as to why this happens every year—a lack of noticeable improvement (i.e. their six-pack abs didn’t arrive on schedule).
In this regard, each and every one of us is the exact same: we all like to see progress—real, tangible, measurable progress. But, recognizing incremental progress while on the way to our ultimate goal can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to set checkpoints along the journey to help remind us that we’re moving in the right direction.
Remember this, the journey is the destination. On the way to your ultimate health and fitness goal, you may push yourself to new boundaries, break through old plateaus, and find out just what you’re truly capable of—I bet you’ll be surprised.
Plan, Plan, Plan
BREAKING NEWS: This just in! Failing to plan REALLY is planning to fail! I repeat—Failing to plan REALLY is planning to fail!
If this news comes as earth shattering, climb out from underneath that rock you’re hiding and wake the heck up! Just as an architect draws up blueprints prior to the hammering of a single nail, putting together a manageable game plan for how you’ll achieve your health and fitness goals is absolutely critical to your success.
The fact of the matter is we’re all super busy. And the oh-so-convenient excuse of, “I don’t have enough time to workout,” or “I’m too exhausted to cook,” will always be your crutch if you don’t have a strategy in place to help limit the inefficiencies so many of us often experience while at the gym or in the kitchen.
Two Things to Consider:
- Meal Prep: Do you have to meal prep? Definitely not, but if you’re one of those, “I’m too tired to cook after a long day at work,” cats, then this strategy might be one to consider.
- Planned Workouts: Should you have a workout in place before arriving at the gym? Let me put it like this—showing up at the gym without a plan is like going grocery shopping while you’re hungry. Chances are you’ll either do too much of everything or resort to what’s comfortable and perform the same three or four exercises over and over—neither of which is effective. Planning your workouts allows for more targeted, purposeful exercise routines and a more efficient use of both your time and effort (i.e. less time spent sitting on a machine rifling through iTunes and Twitter).
We’re all different, so there isn’t one general, fitness approach that is right for everybody. You will have to figure out what type of plan works best for you and, ultimately, what you’re trying to accomplish.
But, the big takeaway from here is that having a plan in place is paramount to putting yourself in the best possible position to succeed. Because, remember, if you fail to do so, you’ve likely already failed.
Yours in Health,
Doug Ferner Jr