I've worked as a Personal Trainer for 8 years now, so I've seen the cycle repeat itself many times. During the first few weeks of January, there is a large influx of new members into the gym and also old members finally using their membership again. Honestly, I love it! I love the energy, the enthusiasm, and simply just seeing people trying to better themselves with whatever fitness goal they have. The unfortunate truth here is that about 80% of people fail to achieve their New Year's resolution, and most people give up by mid February.
Let's dive into why it is so hard to stick to your resolution. (This applies to most resolutions, not just fitness related but since I am a Personal Trainer, I am going to use weight loss as the example)
What is your WHY?
This is the most important part because your WHY is what drives and motivates you, and if you are not motivated, you will fail. Your WHY has to be clear, specific, and powerful personally to you. If you want to drink less alcohol, think about why. You may say, "because it's bad for you." Okay, while that's true, it needs to be more powerful. You want to drink less alcohol so that you can be healthier to be there for your kids and grand kids. If you want to lose weight, then your why has to be more than simply looking better. Looking better is fine but it has to be how YOU want to look and not how society says you should look. A much better goal than simply saying you want to lose weight is: I want to lose 40lbs and build my upper body strength so that I can complete a Obstacle Course Race without any failed obstacles. Or, I want to lose 'X' amount of weight and eat healthier so that I set a good example for my kids and they don't repeat the same lifestyle, choices, and incur the health issues that I have. Make your WHY Clear, Powerful, and Specific.
It takes hard work and sacrifice
This is another huge reason why most people fail. You simply have to put in the work. Losing weight means making better food choices which means putting in more time to make food instead of choosing the quick option. It means exercising instead of sitting on the couch. It means resisting cravings for overly sugary, fatty, and salty foods. You have to practice self control and discipline. Very often people will get overwhelmed by trying to make a complete lifestyle overhaul. Try making smaller changes consistently and as they compound over time you will see great results. Instead of deciding you will go from 0 to 5 workouts a week and going from fast food to a Keto diet, try having 3 days of physical activity per week and changing 2 diet items like cutting out soda and drinking 60 ounces of water.
Don't beat yourself up if you mess up
If your goal is weight loss and you slip up, it does not mean you just screwed up your whole day and now there is no point in trying (I know many people feel this way). Instead, try to acknowledge what you did as not beneficial, think about how to avoid and correct the situation in the future, and tell yourself you will do better. We are human and we mess up, but that just means you have to keep trying so that you can build habits. These habits, over time, will completely transform you.
Understand that it takes time
If you are overweight, it didn't happen overnight, so you can't expect to lose the weight overnight. Set a series of goals - 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months. You have to mentally prepare yourself from the start that it is going to take time. Putting things in perspective, 6 months is not very long. Imagine what you can accomplish in 1 year and how that will compound itself over the next several years. It's hard because industries shove "fast results" down our throats so that's how we are trained to think, but that's simply not reality. We have to rewire our brains to be realistic.
In summary, YOU CAN DO IT. Get your game face on and keep your eyes on the prize. Ignore the distractions and be willing to put in the work. There will be failures along the way, but that doesn't mean you give up and wait until next year. Failing and getting back up is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful. You are the one in control of whether or not you are successful. When it gets hard, simply ask yourself, "Am I willing to push through this and put in the work to accomplish what I said I was going to?"
Trio Fitness OCR is the best place you can go for OCR coaching and training. We meet YOUR specific goals and needs. We don't do templates and we don't start you off at someone else's level. Every workout is designed for you, the equipment you have access to, the amount of time you're able to commit, and to make you the best athlete you can be. You're always able to reach out to us with questions, thoughts, and feedback. Whether you are a beginner, or a seasoned participant in the sport, having experienced coaches will make you a better athlete. Head over to our Training Programs page to join.
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Joel Hayes (Coach)
Luke Hayes (Coach & Article Author)