Fitness Resolutions Require Small Steps
It’s 2014 and chances are you are one of the millions of people to get themselves in betters physical condition.
Deferring to the statistics released on January 1st, 2014 The University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology released a survey that “Losing Weight” was the number one resolution, closely followed by the number 5 ranking of “Staying Fit and Healthy.”
The bigger question, is how many of those people will remain committed long after the confetti has fallen, the balloons have popped and the reality of what it takes to reach those goals has redefined the meaning of sobriety?
Take your own statistics and look out of your window today. You’ll see people running as they pursue their new goals. Turn the clock forward 3 months and take your own stats again. You won’t see as many people.
Unfortunately, staying true to fitness goals has some boobie traps that impose themselves as subtle but significant obstacles in a persons success. Ironically, the greatest errors occur in the planning phase, and not the first effort when you’ve set your clock to some morning hour that has you up before the roosters.
Looking on the positive side, there are many things you can do to defeat the attrition rate that might have started with a zealot’s enthusiasm.
A significant part of being a successful fitness trainer is understanding the behavioral side of our craft. We wax philosophically on what it takes to create more interest, desire and ultimately success for our clients. This is not an easy answer as the human brain more frequently ruminates on that cheesey pasta dish before a sweat-filled work-out at the gym.
Having spent many years watching, conversing, and most importantly observing clients that have gone down “Fitness Ave.” I have organized some key triggers that will have you running (literally) into next year:
- Make it personal – One of the primary things I’ve learned about the human psyche is that absolute disgust can be a key motivator in creating change. We all hit that point at different times and for different reasons, but disgust with oneself to make change, can be a significant contributor to a successful fitness program.
- Motion through emotion – Whether someone admits it or not, emotions are frequently at the root of the desire to make physical change. People work-out for a myriad of reasons including release of anger and emotional pain, looking physically more attractive, living more functionally as the result of a physical set-back, looking great on their wedding day, reunion or tropical vacation, women getting their pre-baby body or performing at a higher level in sports. The list goes on and on, but it is important to remain fixated on the driving emotion that keeps you going. Learn to harness it, instead of resent it.
- Start small – I’d say this is one of the biggest land-mines in fitness resolutions. All too often, people over-commit to ambitious resolutions resulting in the inability to succeed consistently. This naturally results in negative thought patterns and ultimately a permanent “vacation” from the goal. Start with a small goal – one you can attain. If there is more time to grow your commitment then add it to your schedule, again, doing so slowly.
- Schedule it – With modern technology we have countless gadgets to record our schedules. It is critical that your workout is scheduled with the same conviction as your staff meeting. Treat it as something permanent in your day so that it won’t be scheduled over or avoided.
- Solo or group – Some people thrive on the energy of a group-based activity while others like to fly solo. Know the environment you feel you will thrive within and then go after it.
While the above are only several of the key factors that my years as a trainer have taught me should be heeded to make resolutions come true, they serve as a great starting point.
I fully endorse the fancy fitness gadgets that many of you might have received over the holiday, however remember they only work when you use them to improve your scores. Unfortunately, wearing them won’t do the work for you.
May 2014 be your year, for a best body and best life! Happy New Year.