It's that time of year again, New Year's resolution time… Everybody is excited to start fresh and get themselves in good shape for the summer. I could not applaud that more, even though I don't think you need to wait till January 1st to have those goals.
As a trainer nothing makes me more happy than an influx of new gym members who are super excited and motivated to change their lives through fitness. Unfortunately most people don't make it... They put a few weeks in, or a few days in, and drop off the map. One of the most frustrating things is having a client who is super excited, motivated, and claims to be very dedicated to achieving their goals, and then can't seem to follow through with the steps they need to take to reach those goals. I can only help you so much, Internet memes can only take you so far, and looking at your fitness celebs for motivation isn't going to get you those abs you're telling me you want. Ultimately you have to find it in yourself to follow through; you have to eat right, tone down the partying, and make it to the gym. No one can do that for you.
Most people who start with these vivid and intense ideas about how they want to transform are not being honest with themselves about what it takes to get there. That may sound harsh, I am in no way saying this to be negative although it may come off that way, more so just to encourage people to make attainable and realistic goals that they can succeed at. Often when people realize that their goal was too demanding they quit altogether, instead of stepping back and finding a middle ground. I think you can have a more positive experience and long term motivation by planning an accessible goal. That being said, ANYONE CAN BECOME “FITNESS MODEL “FIT. This in not an elite thing, it just requires you to be completely dedicated and genuinely committed.
I think that the main things people don’t consider when making a fitness resolution are:
- This is going to affect your life. You might not be able to go out as often, you might have to change the way you interact socially… Think through what that will be like and resolve to go through with it even though you may get lonely. Plan other types of ways that you can still do things with friends or make new friends that support your lifestyle.
- This will be your lifestyle. Prepare for the gym to be your new favorite hobby. When people ask you what you do for fun your answer will be “biceps”.
- You might not actually want the goal that bad… meaning you might want to look like an extra from 300, but you don’t want to track your food, be constantly hungry, do cardio several times a week on top of 5 regular gym sessions, and give up drinking and cookies. THAT IS OK! It isn’t for everyone and there is nothing wrong with you deciding you don’t want to sacrifice things you enjoy in your life for an extreme physical goal.
With all that said, here are my tips to achieve your health and fitness goals for the new year and hopefully the rest of your life!
Step 1- Make a goal with both long term and short term MEASURABLE parameters.
- An example of this would be “This year I would like to gain 24lbs of muscle. I can do this by gaining .5lb a week.”
Step 2- Think through the logistics of your goal.
- Is it even possible to gain 24lbs of muscle a year? How do you know? Is your information good? What are you going to need to do to get there? Do you have that knowledge or do you need to consult an expert?
Step 3- Re-evaluate your goal.
- You’ve realized that 24lbs a year might be a little lofty… maybe 12lbs this year is more realistic. You’ve learned that you will have to be in the gym at least 4 times a week for 1-2 hours at a time. You have learned that you are going to eat in a certain manner to achieve this goal, maybe that means more food than you are really comfortable with. It most likely means that you will have to turn down social engagements because you need to be at the gym. Or if your goal is weight loss you might have to give up drinking or opt out of fancy dinners sometimes. Can you do this? Are you that committed to your goal?
Step 4- Follow through.
- So you are deciding that it is realistic for you to eat 5000 calories a day and be in the gym 4 days a week for 1-2 hours a session. Great! Now to make that happen. How are you going to make sure you get your food in? Are you going to meal prep? How often? When are you going to go to the gym? What days? Are you prepared to go before work, or after even if you are tired so that you don’t miss a session? The gym has to be your job. Now just be consistent. Take the step necessary to get there!
Maybe just pick a facet of this and work on one thing at a time... here are 5 great starting points to reaching better health and fitness
- Go to the gym X times a week, unless deathly ill
- Track your food to make healthy changes
- Add 2 servings of green vegetables to your diet per day
- Cut out refined fats and sugar or reduce it to a level that will fit into your optimal macro balance
- Give up drinking or reduce your alcohol consumption to X drinks a week
Remember that attainable goals are measurable and realistic. Success in achieving your goals requires a plan that you are prepared to carry out. One misstep does not equal failure or a reason to quit, consistency is the most important aspect in improving your health and physique so just let it go and move forward. Fitness is a journey so it may take you a while to get where you want to go, but every step counts!
Hope to see you in the gym... EVERY DAY