The year is winding down, and many people are likely starting to consider their New Year’s resolutions. Three of the most common health-related goals are to lose weight, to gain muscle, and to improve overall health. Unfortunately, in my experience, those goals often go unmet due to several possible mistakes.
People’s first mistake is setting goals with all-or-nothing attitudes. Disruption is unavoidable. Plans will get derailed at some point. Kids get sick, work trips spring up, gyms close for bad weather, and so on. Don’t stop your progress the moment one unexpected convenience slows you down — you haven’t failed, you just need to adjust your plans and move forward.
Another reason that resolutions fall by the wayside is that they’re based on unsustainable methods, like seven-day liquid diets, 30-day detoxes, or 500-calorie-per-day diets. It’s impossible to keep up with these strategies for more than a couple of weeks. What will happen when you go back to eating 1,500 calories a day? Because you’ve forced your metabolic rate to adjust to a new system, you’ll start putting on weight again. You need to choose healthy methods that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine.
Finally, many people make the mistake of comparing their results to others’ progress. The simple truth is that not everyone has to expend the same effort to achieve noticeable results. While I wholeheartedly believe diet is the most important part of becoming healthy, there are people out there who can eat poorly but stay fit as long as they exercise regularly. But it’s critical to remember that their results have nothing to do with yours. Goals take time to reach, and you might have to tweak your methods along the way. Focus on staying the course, and you’ll see results in time.
Making Your Resolutions Count
Want more tips on how to make good resolutions and keep up with them in 2018? Consider these tips from top trainers:
1. Define your path to success by focusing on the process. — Alan Bishop
“I want to work out more” and “I want to lose weight” might seem like good goals on the surface, but they are, in fact, terrible starting points for making a meaningful, lasting impact. They focus on results, not the journey toward achieving them. Replace vague goals with benchmarks that are measurable and realistic, and set a deadline. Instead of “I want to work out more,” set a goal of “I will go to the gym three times this week, 12 times this month, and 144 times this year.” Use these clearly defined goals and deadlines as small victories on the path to achieving your major goal.
When asked recently about what was left to accomplish in his career after having achieved so much, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick didn’t say anything about Super Bowls or the Hall of Fame. Instead, he said, “I’d like to go out today and have a good practice.” Take a page from Belichick’s book, and focus on the process to achieve an outcome, not just the outcome itself.
Alan Bishop is the Director of Sports Performance for Men’s Basketball at the University of Houston. Alan has a master’s degree in Sports Conditioning and Performance and holds certifications through the NSCA, CSCCA, and USAW. You can follow him @coachalanbishop on Twitter and Instagram.
2. Start now. — Joe DeFranco
When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, my only piece of advice is to start now. Don’t wait until January 1. Successful people take action — they don’t put their success on hold to wait for some bedazzled ball to drop. Procrastination is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving any kind of goal, and waiting until the start of a new year is the very definition of procrastination. If you’re not willing to make a change now, you probably won’t be willing to stick with it later. Get started now to crush your New Year’s goals!
Joe DeFranco is a world-renowned strength and conditioning coach and the owner of DeFranco’s Gym. For the past two decades, athletes from across the globe have hired Joe because of his remarkable ability to improve strength, power, speed, mobility, agility, and sport-specific endurance. Joe’s training techniques have been featured in and on ESPN, Spike TV, NFL Network, WWE Network, Men’s Health Magazine, Men’s Fitness Magazine, and in the New York Times bestselling book “The 4-Hour Body.” His résumé includes NFL players from all 32 teams, MLB and NBA players, WWE superstars, UFC fighters, Olympic athletes, and high school and college All-Americans. www.defrancostraining.com.
3. Get a little help from your friends. — Jennifer Tavernier
Being motivated to go to the gym or change old habits is hard — and it’s harder if you’re doing it alone. Let the people closest to you know about your goals so they won’t accidentally sabotage you by offering to bring home a pizza, buying extra Ben & Jerry’s, or tempting you to stay home when you want to go for a hike or a run.
If your goal revolves around going to the gym or working out more often, try to do it with someone — preferably someone you know won’t flake. Join a fitness class or community, meet a friend at the gym, or hire a trainer to meet with you once a week and follow up between sessions. Whatever method you choose, make sure your plans for 2018 involve other people, and you’ll set yourself up for success.
Jennifer Tavernier is a personal trainer and Team Ninja Warrior athlete. She has a background as a collegiate tennis player and general fitness enthusiast. She is also a mom of two young girls and works to inspire people of all ages to get strong and pursue their dreams. www.jennifertavernier.com