Thoughts on New Year's Resolutions
2020 has been weird. I think that's something we can all agree on. Perhaps some of us would like to forget most of 2020 and starting January 2, 2021, "new year, new me" and with that comes a strict eating plan and an unrealistic exercise program (i.e. No sugar, alcohol or processed carbs and exercising everyday for 30 days) that likely isn't sustainable in the long term. While I do think there’s a time and place for this, the instances are rare. As we approach the time of year when many people across the world start making New Year's Resolutions, I want you to consider a few things.
Many resolutions are related to physical health which is a very worthwhile goal in my opinion. Some people like to poo poo on new year's resolutions because they "don't work". While this can be true, I think the idea of someone trying to better themselves should never be poo'ed on. I think people set unrealistic goals that aren't attainable and that's where failure often happens.
So, let's dive into this. Failure to be successful with your goals often happens when (or even before) they are set. Example: "I want to lose 15 pounds by my birthday in February and exercise everyday" Sounds like a good idea, right? let's think about this. Why specifically by your birthday? Why did you give yourself so little time? Why do you want to lose 15 pounds? Will you actually exercise everyday? Let's begin to think about the big picture. Any body change followed with habit/mindset change takes at least 6 months-probably longer to be honest depending on your current situation and how many "failed" diets/training programs you've done in the past. Consistency wins the race every single time. This isn't the sexy news you were probably hoping for. When I say 6 months, that's a small part of the bigger picture. What do you really want to achieve? Overall health? Improved blood work? Have your clothes fit better? Sleep better? Improved mood? Get some dang muscles popping out of your shirt? These take time, my friends. We are not here to "survive" the holidays and then lose the extra pounds starting January 2 not to mention any pounds gained and muscle lost during the lockdowns. We are here for more than that. Ask yourself "how could improving my health improve my life and those close to me?" Having bulging biceps is a totally fine goal, but will you be motivated in 1 year to still work as hard as needed for looks alone? or would it better serve you to have improved blood work, a good night's sleep, and clothes that fit comfortably? If visible abs or a gun show (or whatever your initial goal was) are a byproduct of this, great. If not, great.
If you can change 3 things this year about how you think, eat and move, your life will be so much fuller in 6 months not to mention a year and beyond.
Mindset-change 1 thought pattern such as, having a genuinely kind thought about yourself when you see yourself naked in the mirror.
Nutrition- consistency of 90% adherence for 365 days is so much greater in the long term than perfection for 30 days.
Movement- 2x/wk= 730 workouts a year is greater than 30-60 days out of the year doing it everyday.
It's important to note that I do think you should move more than 2x a week, but this HAS to be attainable for you. 2x week snowballs into 3 and 4 etc. Maybe you travel or get sick or injured, but guess what? The habit is there and you'll start back up again so much easier than that 1 time 7 months ago you exercised for 30-60 days straight.
Hannah Roeter B.S. FNTP
Staff at Mission Health & Wellness regularly contribute to this blog including Nick Carlo, Hannah Roeter, Courtney Mohr Taylor, and Dr. Kristen Acesta