Resolve Yourself



Fitness New Year's Resolutions

If you happen to be one of the millions of "Resolutionaries" to make a fresh fitness goal at the start of a New Year, then you might also be taking the time, right about now, to do some soul-searching.  You either never made fitness goals, you made them and failed to reach them or you hit your marks and are motivated and fired-up going into the second half of 2013.  Let’s hope the last scenario is the case, but if not, then what?

First of all, admit that you might have fallen short or downright fallen flat, but don't accept defeat.  A setback is simply an opportunity for a comeback and, besides, people love those kind if success stories. You've just made yours a little more dramatic and exciting to share.  Starting over is okay.

Second, look at your goals.  Now that you've tried them on for size...were they attainable?  Did they fit your personality?  Did they jive with your work schedule?  Were they what you really wanted to begin with?  If not, then there's nothing wrong with stepping back, reassessing and setting new goals.  Just because the New Year is almost half over and your first stab at it might not have gotten you the results you wanted, it’s never too late to start fresh.  Allow yourself to hit the reset button.

The third consideration may be that you're not on the right track in the first place.  If running every day, lifting weights four times a week or riding the stationary bike for thirty minutes each morning was your intention and you weren't able to see it through, maybe the activity you chose isn't right for you.  If you hate running, but tried to tie yourself to a treadmill every morning, then that may be the reason you quit.  Find what, personally, works for you.

It’s important at any level of success to understand that you have the right to tailor your workout to your personality, your interests and your needs.  Cross Fit-style training, for example, may work great for your friend or the guy sitting next to you at the office, but that doesn't automatically make it what's best FOR YOU.

Your success may also have something to do with your "why."  If your goal was to lose ten pounds in the first two months of the year and you got discouraged, maybe you should be focused on real fitness or eating healthier foods, rather than actual weight loss or gain? The fact is, everyone is motivated by different drivers and find some situations more discouraging than others.  Let's face it, getting healthy, being more fit, is seldom pleasant.  It's gratifying afterwards, empowering during and can be uplifting when you see results, but not many people actually enjoy exercise.  That's why it's called working out. The simple truth is that it requires effort, so it won't always be fun.  It will never be easy and it will require constant discipline.  Having said that, whatever activity you choose, has to hold your interest long enough to work up a sweat and burn some calories.  It can't be such drudgery that you dread your time in the gym and find ways to avoid it.

It's also important to realize that changes, improvements and progress don't necessarily happen overnight.  Most results take time, but stick with it and they'll payoff for the long haul.

Above all, a simple change in your perspective might be helpful.  Think for a moment of all of the people who would LOVE to be in your shoes and simply have the option to work out.  Individuals who have handicaps that prevent them from doing most exercises, heart problems that won't allow them to go all out, any number of physical limitations that prohibit experiencing exercise to its fullest...they would trade places with you in a heartbeat.  And you…?  You are squandering your physicality on distractions, excuses and apathy.  Being able to pursue your physical fitness is a privilege.  If you think otherwise, then you're really fooling yourself.

Now, if you're ready to begin again, then cut yourself some slack and start fresh.  Don't spend another second or one more speck of energy on beating yourself up.  You've probably done plenty of that and it hasn't gotten you any closer to your goals.

Decide to recommit now.  You don't have to wait for a New Year to start creating a new you.

Doug Ward is the President and Trainer for the Underground Boxing Company.