Sing it with me now! It's the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas, ya silly goose. I'm talking about New Year's Resolution time! That magical time of year when we all say things we're going to do and then 95 percent of us fail to make it more than a week or two.
Here's my qualm with the resolution philosophy. We look at it as an opportunity to make a change of a lifetime. Quit smoking, quit drinking, eat healthier, exercise, be better with money.
These are not things that get accomplished overnight. By expecting to do a 180 just because the calendar says January 1, we are setting ourselves up for failure. But there is a miracle in there if we understand what to do.
Let's use fitness as an example. (I know, I'm really getting out of my comfort zone, huh?) Lots of people will start exercising by using their P90X or Insanity videos.
I used to dislike these videos because I didn't think they were effective. Some people would use them for a few weeks, lose a few pounds, then either realize how hard exercise really is (it is called WORKing out, after all) or they'll take their small success and call it a day, er, year.
However, a small fraction of those at-home video exercisers will lose weight and want more. So then they'll buy a new video. Then they'll buy some equipment. They may even venture out to buying a gym membership and come to where all the cool people hang (I'm biased). They'll go on to lose large amounts of weight and gain even larger amounts of awesomeness.
Same starting point, totally different outcomes. So, what's the difference? Where one group did something new, adapted and stopped, the other group did something new, adapted, then did something else new. They kept evolving their resolution. I now realize that the videos are great, if they get the person started on their path to a healthier lifestyle.
I used to dislike resolutions because I thought they set us up for large expectations and equally large disappointments. I see it all the time in my industry. But I've come to understand that the resolution should be viewed as a stepping stone.
Don't rest all your hopes on a one week complete turnaround. Instead, feel inspired that you're on a journey. Know that you will plateau, no matter what your resolutions entail. And know that when you hit that plateau, it is up to you to climb above it so that you can continue your journey.
I now realize resolutions are great, if we approach them properly. Remember that in life nothing worth doing is ever easy. If it was, everybody would be doing it. Setting a resolution is easy. Everybody does it. Accomplishing your resolutions... now that's a totally different matter altogether.
Andy Frisch, NASM CPT, CES, PES, WFS, IFT, NESTA FNC, is a successful personal trainer and nutrition coach who enjoys working with clients of all shapes, sizes and ages. He currently train clients at Sports Village Fitness in Lebanon, works with clients online at www.FreshEvolutionFitness.com and has a budding YouTube channel.