By: John Graham, Assistant Fitness Director
What is your New Year’s resolution? Every year, people make plans to change an undesired behavior, accomplish a personal goal, or improve their life in some capacity. For many individuals these resolutions revolve around eating healthier or spending more time in the gym in hopes to gain the “beach body” look for the upcoming Spring Break trip. Rarely are these resolutions met for numerous reasons; most attesting their failure to their lack of time. According to U.S. News, in 2017 approximately 80% of resolutions failed by the second week in February (Mulvey, 2017). Do people make these resolutions having no intentions of changing any bad habits? Probably not! But the standard of goal setting (creating both long and short term goals), making the goal measurable and attainable, following the plan, and beginning the work is now tradition. Some of us forge full steam ahead towards a resolution without creating a blueprint to success which ultimately leads to quickly burning out and ending up back where we started…out of shape!
What if I told you there is a way to rectify these failures and be successful in achieving your fitness goals? The first thing I would suggest is to forget a resolution and start working toward your goals. The best time to begin a new project or new habit is when it manifest in your mind and you are highly motivated. If individuals begin their goals immediately, there is room for both failure and growth. Why not propose a goal to begin right away instead of a certain date? For example, it is January and you want to lose 30lbs before the April trip to the Bahamas. Start working out now, as the idea comes upon you, instead of saying, “I want to do the 30 Day Workout & Fasting that Jay-Z and Beyonce did, starting February 1st”, with the pressure of loosing or toning in 60 days.
Now even though you may be starting a new workout plan, there has to be a process in place to achieve the desired change; be it weight loss, improved cardiovascular fitness, toning, or just being more active. Remember the goal setting model mentioned in the first paragraph because without a plan things are sure to go downhill rather quickly. Something to think about when developing this plan to be a “new you in the New Year” is that the success rate is about 8%, as discovered by the University of Scranton in a 2013 study (Diamond, 2013). So as suggested, get started now because we do not know what new obstacles await us in the New Year. John Trusler once said, “No time like the present, a thousand unforeseen circumstances may interrupt you at a future time”. Let me add this piece of motivation, if you start now and see results you’ll only be motivated to crush the gym even more!
Becoming more active and healthier is a great resolution, but it takes time to see the progress and changes in your body. Health and fitness is a practice that all people should strive to be a part of on a daily basis because just 30 minutes for three to four times a week will do wonders for your quality of life. Again, why wait to do something you can do right now? Your New Year’s resolution should be to set goals; continuing to hit the gym because every mile walked or ran is a step in the right direction. Instead of a New Year’s resolution make 2018 a new year of fitness DEDICATION!