It’s that time of year again. Gyms get crowded with memories of past failures and broken resolutions. About 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February, only a month into the New Year. Every year “getting back into shape,” is the number one New Year’s resolution… and every year it is the number one failed resolution. Dreams of taking your shirt off at the beach, or feeling confident enough to go bathing suit shopping for the summer, quickly melt away with the last snowfall. “Well, there is always next year,” is a theme that many embrace, and unfortunately that also comes along with the looming feeling of failure. The problem doesn’t stem from a lack of effort by the individual, it comes from a fundamental problem that runs deep in the fitness world. My goal is to not let you become just another statistic of New Year’s resolutions gone badly. Here are 12 ways (one for each month of the New Year) to set you up for success in 2019, and finally give you the opportunity to achieve the results that you deserve!
1. Take Your Time
As cliché as it sounds, fitness is a journey and not a destination. Most people fail when they don’t see immediate results, so they give up to soon. It takes time to make changes in your body. Trust the process, enjoy the journey, and the results will come.
2. Don’t Give Into Gimmicks
This time of the year, you will be flooded with advertisements for detox teas, diets that take off inches in just a week, and exercise programs that will get you shredded in just 10 minutes a day. This time of the year, the old saying that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is, holds a lot of merits. Don’t let a well-marketed “solution” lead you down a path to failure.
3. Hire A Professional Coach
A professional fitness coach will be your guide, your mentor, and your biggest supporter to help you get through the failures that have stopped you in the past. There are a lot of great coaches who have dedicated their lives to helping people, and you deserve to have one in your corner. How do you pick out the right coach? Unfortunately, there is no standard in the fitness industry, so my best advice would be to do your homework. Read reviews, talk to his/her clients, but most importantly interview the coach. You need to feel comfortable, and trust your coach in order to fully buy into their philosophy.
4. Stay Positive
Fitness is supposed to be fun, but there will be times that you will ultimately feel discouraged. Don’t let those times of discouragement derail you from your goals. This happens to everyone at some point in their journey, but the people who succeed understand that it is just a part of the process. It isn’t always going to be easy, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
5. Get 1% Better Every Day
There are going to be plenty of days where you feel like you just don’t have “it.” The act of just showing up and doing something will be far superior to doing nothing at all. The process of getting real results is never an overnight success. If you strive to get just 1% better every day, you will continually make positive changes to move towards your goals.
6. Fall Off the Wagon, But Don’t Let it Run You Over
You are going to screw up. You are going to eat something that you know you shouldn’t have. You are going to drink one too many adult beverages that will throw you off course. But THAT IS OKAY! Not if, but when that happens, don’t harp on it. Pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and hop right back on the wagon. You are just one good decision to getting back on track, but all too often we let a bad decision determine the outcome.
7. Don’t Be a Loner
First and foremost, working out with a friend is just more fun! When you are having fun, you have a much higher chance to succeed. However, that is not the only reason why working out with a friend is more productive. Lack of accountability is one of the top reasons why people fail to achieve their goals. When you have someone that will hold you accountable, it is a lot harder to skip out on your workout. It also flows in the opposite direction. When you commit to having a gym buddy, you take on the responsibility of making sure that they don’t fail as well.
8. Set Attainable Goals
Who wouldn’t love to be on the cover of a swimsuit magazine? However, for most of us, hitting the gym seven days a week, eating a strict diet planned by a nutritionist, and walking around at 5% body fat is just not realistic. All too often, we set goals that we know we can’t reach, but it makes us feel good to say that we want them. Your success is like a snowball, start with losing one pound, and gain momentum from there.
9. Track Your Food
If you’re just guessing, then you’re not assessing. Tracking your food can be a tedious task, but people who track their food have an 80% higher success rate than those who don’t track. When you know exactly what you’re putting in your body, you know where you need to make some changes. There are plenty of free apps you can download right on your phone, to help you do this.
10. Starvin Marvin was not Sexy
If you eat too much, you will get fat. However, the opposite is also true. When you undereat and starve yourself, your body will slow itself down to match the lack of energy input. Hence, your metabolism will slow down and your weight loss will suffer. Keep a fire lit in your metabolism but getting the right amount of nutrients that your body needs. You’re not a bird, so don’t eat like one!
11. Why So Serious?
The misconception that in order to get in shape, you need to spend your entire life in the gym, couldn’t be further from the truth. Fitness isn’t about spending hours in the gym, it should be focused on achieving a higher quality of life. Fitness is supposed to be fun, so do the things that you enjoy. Get outside and play with your kids, or go for a walk with your spouse. Fitness doesn’t have to be so serious, have some fun with it!
12. Throw a Few Back
Life is way too short to deny yourself the things that you enjoy. It is okay to indulge a little because you are just one good decision away from getting back on track. Where a lot of people go wrong is they deny themselves the things that they enjoy, which sets them up for failure in the future. It is the old adage of the forbidden fruit. If you can’t have it, you want it even more. The point of living a healthy lifestyle is to enjoy the things that you want to when you want to. You can afford to do this when you make good decisions a majority of the time. Give yourself a mental break, and go have a few drinks with your friends.
If you follow these 12 tips, you will be on track to get back into shape in 2019. If I can leave you with one last thing, it would be to enjoy the process. It’s not going to be easy, but when you look back a year from now you will love how far you have come. If there is anything I can ever help you with, please feel free to email me at [email protected]. Have a healthy and happy 2019.