As we enter 2020, you may find yourself reflecting on your passed resolutions. Were you able to meet your aspirations? If so, amazing! Give yourself a round of applause.
If not, you’re not alone. Statistically it is said that 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. Is that shocking to you? As a personal trainer of over a decade I have known this for a while because I see if first hand every year.
It’s really an unfortunate joke in our industry. We know everyone comes in with the best intentions but more often than not, the goal a client brings to us is not met because they do not stay the course. As trainers we are not given the chance to connect the dots and make the magic happen.
It’s not to say life doesn’t get busy but it is to say if you want to be successful this year you need to plan differently than you did last new year. Well, here is how to do it!
First, let go of the idea that you will have immediate results that look like someone’s 3 year before and after journey. Focus on the results you will have immediately:
1. You have changed a bad habit for a good one by showing up to all your workouts as scheduled. This year you are stronger for not having made excuses.
2. Perhaps you are sleeping better and experiencing more energy throughout the day by week 2-3 thanks to the extra activity, more expedient metabolism and shot of endorphins you dose yourself with each workout you complete.
3. You know you are making change because your muscles are sore and you can brag to coworkers about how hard it was to walk up a flight of stairs because yesterday was leg day!
Now, do you know where your goals came from? Why are they important to you? How would achieving these goals influence your life?
If you can’t answer these questions easily, you may need to consider clarifying your goals prior to setting them. Don’t say you need to get in shape because everyone else is doing it and you want to stay status quo. That isn’t going to be enough to get you where you need to be. In fact, you will waste your money and be the 80% statistic I mentioned in the opening.
As you continue to fail yourself and not live up to your commitments, the more you condition yourself to this response. Much like exercise; The more you workout the healthier, leaner and more conditioned you become. It’s easier to run when you run regularly. Same scenario when you let yourself down repeatedly. You condition yourself to never follow through. Now you’re in a place of zero confidence in yourself and your own word.
Instead figure out what could be improved in your life. What would that improvement do for you and where could it take you? What would be more important then following that improvement to completion? What could derail you and how do you avoid that happening?
Next, you must not overwhelm yourself. Nine times out of ten it is WE who derail ourselves with negative self-talk, feelings of being overwhelmed and unrealistic expectations of time spent versus results. Looking at the long road ahead may cause you to feel as though it’s too much, too soon. These factors may cause you to quit before you even start. Take it a week at a time. Plan the workouts and add them to your calendar, they’re non-negotiable, no self-sabotage this time! Show up and give it your best whether that is a lot or a little on that given day. Don’t weigh yourself, don’t look on Instagram at people who make you feel bad, don’t second guess the road you are on, just keep to your schedule.
As you strive for your goals, you may become impatient in the process. Perhaps you are not seeing signs of progress, or at least not as fast as you previously expected. You may find yourself reflecting on the pros and cons, and whether the goals are even valuable.
This may be a time when you are ready for more. Talk to your trainer or nutrition professional about increasing the intensity or adding a flexible nutrition plan to eliminate some extra calories and give you the edge without feeling overwhelmed. STAY THE COURSE. Jumping to the new next thing is most likely not the answer and just another way to not hold yourself accountable. What can YOU do to create a better result, where do you have more to give or more to work on?
If February rolls around and you haven’t found a groove and your motivation is already gone, I hate to say it but I have to be honest:
YOU MAY NOT BE READY FOR CHANGE.
It is that simple and I see it all the time. Growth isn’t a linear process. You may think you are interested in change, and you very well may be, but are you ready? The chances are, if you’re setting new goals for yourself, you may be hungry for some level of change. Nevertheless, failure to thoroughly consider the corresponding what, when, where, and why may cause you to lack the ability to truly ask yourself if you are currently ready to make the necessary changes.
You may find yourself making and taking every excuse in the book that helps you step away from your path. This lack of connection and dedication doesn’t mean that your goals aren’t representative of your dreams, it may simply mean that they are not the goals that matter the most to you at this present time.
I encourage you to take personal inventory. If now isn’t the time at least you have told yourself a truth and you can once again trust yourself. Perhaps by doing so, when the time is right you will be able to follow through because you a person of your word.