This is my one and only post about New Year’s resolutions but I hope it reaches those who truly want to succeed this year. In hopes of actually helping you accomplish your goals this year I’m going to be frank, blunt and honest, because just like you I too have failed time and time again, but if you’re easily offended maybe skip this article.
First of all I’m not a fan of New Years resolutions and here’s why: there’s no difference between the person you are today or tomorrow unless you make the change, a simple rolling over the page on your calendar won’t make changes for you, you aren’t born again, and guess what? All those challenges and barriers are exactly the same on December 31st as they are on Jan 1st. You flipped the calendar from November to December, did anything change that day? Did you feel different? Where was the fire and driving force for change that day? Or was it just another day that perhaps signified Christmas was coming and, oh shit, what am I going to get Aunt Tracy she has everything… Chances are that if you’re still reading this that you’re in the second camp, nothing happened the last time you flipped the calendar, and most likely this one will be no different. Even more so, chances are this isn’t your first New Years resolution aimed at the same goal, so if it didn’t work last time, what makes you think it will this time?
The answer is quite simple (but not easy!): YOU have to make it different.
That’s the unsexy truth about goal setting. If you’re relying on this sense of new that comes from the date on the calendar, not only do you know this will wear off quickly, but you’ve given away control of your life to an arbitrary external event instead of taking responsibility and control of your own direction, and in order to do that you need a strong and compelling reason why you are chasing your goal in the first place.
Since this is a fitness page we’ll talk about fitness related goals but really these principles apply pretty much anywhere, let’s talk about the most common New Years resolution first: I want to lose x pounds this year and keep it off. Probably the first thing I would recommend to you is to change that to a waist size goal because muscle and fat have different densities and 150lbs can look drastically different depending on the ratios, but that still isn’t getting to the heart of the matter. Why do you want to lose x amount of fat? “To look better” or “to feel healthy” is too vague and superficial, anyone could say that, why do YOU want to lose that fat? Your answer should be different, unique, and it might sting a little when you say it out loud for the first few times, although soon you should find it empowering as you put the old you in the rear view mirror. Here’s an example of what a goal could look like:
I want to lose 6 inches off my waist this year, because I’m no longer proud of the person I am when I look in the mirror. I do not like the way I talk to myself throughout the day. I want to walk into a room without silently judging myself in other’s voices. I want to feel like I am worthy of attention and I no longer want to cringe, recoil, and silently refute every time I’m complimented. I want to get to a point where I value myself for my ideas, the way I treat people. I will not view myself a waking set of love handles and stomach fat another day. I will set an example for those around me that I care about, and hope to inspire them to change as well
Despite the fact that it’s going to sound like a poorly written soap opera monologue, this is the kind of detail you need to get to if you truly want to succeed. Now go write it down, and keep writing until you feel like you’ve got it all out. Got it? Good. Now don’t show or tell anyone. Sounds weird right? I used to think you were supposed to tell everyone your goal, but new research shows that the more people you tell about your goals, the less likely you are to accomplish them , and this happens through deferral of responsibility. Every time you tell someone about your goals, you actually mentally give away part of the responsibility of achieving that goal to them, it’s now up to them to support you and guide you along the path, but it suffers the same pitfall that a date on a calendar does: it’s an external force and the only one that matters is you.
In the new year, the same temptations will be there, there will be food, there will be alcohol, there will be Netflix marathons and deadlines. You will feel like you have no time and no energy, just like you did last year, except this year you’re going to have a really strong reason why none of that matters and you are going to kick ass, no matter what.
Now that you’ve got a goal, if you’d like a little more direction on how to overcome some of the most common barriers to success I’d highly suggest you check out this article for further reading https://blacksmithfitness.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/the-1-reason-people-dont-make-progress/