What is the big deal with New Year’s Resolutions anyway? Every year, a whole bunch of people make up their minds – or trick themselves into believing they have made up their minds – to do something great for themselves. This is a particularly big event in the realm of fitness, and I have heard some pretty funny things out there.
For example: “I have had it, this year I have resolved not to eat any more fruit. You know, fruit has way too much sugar and my doctor said I need to cut those simple sugars out.” Are you kidding me?! As if the mounds of ice cream and sodas you consume don’t have any sugar!
Here is another one I get: “This year, I am going to exercise three times per week and I even started last night. I read a whole chapter in my Harry Potter book while on the treadmill.” Let me just be honest, I want to pull my hair out when I hear comments like this. If you can read a chapter of your book while exercising, you are NOT exercising! No way, no how are you exercising and reading at the same time. What you are doing is crawling at a snail’s pace, and as you get to a “good part” in your book, the treadmill proves to be way too much so you have to stop all together and concentrate on the riveting chapter you are reading. Put down the book and get to work!
Now that I am done venting, let’s talk about some tangible New Year’s Resolutions that are not only good for you, but achievable! Throughout this next year, I am going to lose 20 pounds. My blood pressure is 150/90 and by June of this year, I am going to bring it down to 120/80 without using medication. These are very clear and specific goals, with specific timelines. They are, however, missing one extremely important variable. How are you going to do this? This question needs to be asked, and answered honestly. Do not rush the answering process, as this is the most important variable. If answered honestly, you will have a much higher success rate in achieving your goals.
Let me give you an outline of how to ask yourself honest questions using the first goal: Throughout this next year, I am going to lose 20 pounds. How am I going to do this? What resources do I need? Well, maybe you are going to do this with nutrition alone. If so, what do you know about nutrition? How do you lose 20 pounds by just changing your nutrition? Do you know someone or somewhere that can help you achieve this? What about exercise? Can you lose the 20 pounds with just exercise? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself, and then answer them honestly.
After you know what you want and how you are going to get it, you must add the final ingredient, which is accountability. How in the world are you going to make yourself exercise three times a week at an intensity you have never experienced? This is extremely difficult, if not impossible to do. There are few people I have ever encountered that can drastically change their lifestyle and do it consistently without any accountability. You have to humble yourself and ask for help. Ask a friend, relative, professional; just make sure you ask someone who will actually follow through and hold you accountable. If you do not set yourself up with a means of accountability, you will fail. I say this honestly, and to give you a reality check. You will not do this on your own, which is why you have not already done it.
If you need help with your fitness related goals, make sure you seek advice from a professional who has a track record of success. Providing accountability is a difficult thing to do and it requires someone who is willing to ask the hard questions repeatedly. FBN
Dustin Evans, M.Ed., CSCS, USA-W, is a native of the Flagstaff area and is the owner/
personal trainer of High Altitude Personal Training. He can be contacted by text/call 928-225- 9707 or email at dustin@HAPTonline. com.