This happens EVERY year on December 31st. A fitness fail freakout that starts at 11:59pm that usually happens just after you’ve downed a kung pow chicken wrap filled with fettucini alfredo and with a lasagna chaser.
You suddenly realize that you completely blew your fitness, not only in that moment, but for the entire year, again. In the next :60 seconds, you vow:
- I WILL EAT BETTER (“Mmm, this is pretty good, just one more bite.”)
- I WILL GET TO THE GYM 19 DAYS A WEEK (“I seriously hate the gym.”)
- I WILL BE IN BED BY 9PM EVERY NIGHT (“It will give me the chance to relax in bed with my phone for a couple of hours.”)
- I WILL WEIGH WHAT I DID AS A FETUS (“I don’t have THAT much to lose.”)
If only it stopped there. The next wave looks like this, you vow to finish EVERY fitness event from an Ironman Triathlon to “American Ninja Warrior” and all things in between by March 13th, twice. Completely ignoring the fact you’ve never run a 5K let alone finished 10 pushups without throwing your back out for a month. Either that or you were so beat up that you needed an EMT to help you blink when you crossed the finish line, BUT THIS TIME WILL BE TOTALLY DIFFERENT!!
But, come December 31st in those magical :60 seconds between 11:59pm and 12:00am, “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! WOOHOO!! YAY ME FTW!!” Insert 80’s group clap here.
This is why I can’t stand New Year’s resolutions. Why is it people are only really committed to getting more fit from New Year’s Eve through roughly January 2nd at 5:02pm and :36 seconds? That my friends is a mystery wrapped in an enigma surrounded by a riddle.
Yes, I help people get more fit for a living, and I. HATE. NEW. RESOLUTIONS. Mostly because they don’t work. They should be know as “New Year’s Wishful Thoughts I Will Never Accomplish.”
Two of the top five resolutions made are to lose weight and to stay healthy and fit. Roughly 45% of your fellow Americans make this sacred vow to become more awesome, fit, healthier, FINALLY fit into the jeans you wore in the womb, etc like clockwork on Jan 1st. You know how many actually keep that commitment? eight percent. EIGHT. Yep, that’s it (1).
You’d be better off making a goal of getting out of shape. Your chances of success go up exponentially!
Let me give you a few tips on what might actually work. This will save you a ton of time and hopefully get you closer to your goals next December 31st.
1) Use common sense, you didn’t get out of shape in 24 hours, don’t try to reach your human performance potential in 48. It takes time to get there. Do the work, enjoy the journey then reap the reward.
2) Have a plan, set yourself up to win with a strategy that fits YOUR life. Not the person with ripped abs and shredded muscles drenched in sweat in some nonsensical pinspiration meme.
I’m all about getting fired up to train, but set yourself up to win and your chances of success go up. If you live in North Dakota, and the nearest pool is in Arizona, don’t try to break a Guiness World Record crossing the Atlantic in an inner tube is what I’m getting at.
Let me drop another revelation on you: if you weren’t born with “long, lean dancer like muscles,” you’ll probably never have them. GENETICS rule the fitness game, and the house ALWAYS wins.
3) If you hate the gym, don’t join one, you won’t go. Find the place where you WILL exercise. You will be more consistent, and that will help you reach your goals.
4) Get a trainer to help you map out said goals and set a realistic time frame to achieve them. One of the biggest fitness fails I see is people want to set world fitness records with bodyweight until they see an article saying kettlebells are the best way to get in shape.
Then its on to “WAIT!! HERE IS THE. BEST. FITNESS. APP. EVER!” that says all you need is to do is 47 sprints for :20 in only 2:00 minutes 10 times a day to get in shape. Then its “Use, insert celebrity’s name here, workout to get more fit!!!” Never mind that the 40 hours a week required to do the program, private trainer, personal chef, masseuse and astrologist cost more in a week than you’ve made since you graduated from college.
See what I’m getting at here? Get a REALISTIC plan. Stick to it. Get results.
5) Listen to your body, if you’re running a 103 degree fever, chances are your body doesn’t want you to train. If you have aches and pains getting in and out of a chair, box jumps and tire flips probably aren’t the way to go to fix that. Paint on the canvas you’re given, and your chances of creating works of art increase.
A sensible methodical fitness plan, or slow and steady wins the race, is one of the most effective ways to reach your wellness goals. Give that a shot, and you might just be an “8 percenter” next December 31st at midnight.
1) “New Year’s Resolutions,” Statistics Brain