How to Fail
I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions…why? Because if I want to do something, I do it. I don’t wait for some arbitrary measure of time to determine when I start bettering myself. Here are some guaranteed ways to make sure you fail at fitness in 2012:
1. Make a New Year’s Resolution
This alone can ruin you before you start. Saying “I want to ________ more this year” is not going to cut it. The problem with a new year’s resolution is they tend to be broad and generic. They get you no closer to being fit than if you were to sit and think about a good work out.
2. Add more than 3 things to your lifestyle that are not already in your life
This one has taken me about 5 years of learning from myself and other people. Most people cannot handle a lot of change. Meaning if you are not fit at all, or you have no healthy habits, it is going to take a long time. The problem is that most people want to go from zero to hero overnight.
3 seems to be the magic number. Adding three new things to your lifestyle is hard and it still takes discipline. For some of you, you may need to start with just one or two new things.
Example adding too much: Running in the morning, complete new diet, keeping a workout/food journal, drinking a gallon of water a day.
The first two will be hard enough. Try to narrow it down to specifics and still keep it to no more than 3.
3. Set Goals for Someone Else
A lot of people do this and they do not even realize it. It starts like this…Well, I saw this one guy/girl do this amazing feat, so I can do it too. Can you? I am not training you so don’t look to me for motivation. If you workout alone, you only have yourself to get motivated EVERY SINGLE DAY. You are capable of great things, but know yourself well enough to set the right goals. Has your past history or track record shown that you are capable of drastic change overnight? When is the last time you made a major change? What is your best fitness accomplishment so far in your life? Ah, now you are starting to realize.
Ok, ok so what do I do?
Have a Vision
This is a must! Do not even start fitness in the new year if you have no vision. You have to know what you want to achieve. Why are you doing it? Is it for health, achievement, legacy, lifestyle?
Once you have a vision you will be able to make it through those tough times that you know are coming. Those days you have no motivation and can’t imagine getting that barbell over your head think of your vision.
Set some SMART Goals. The basics of the SMART principle; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Based. I have a full write up of good ways to do this in my post “Are Goals Necessary?“.
Train Smarter not Harder
Don’t spin your wheels. If you are working out in your Garage Gym or at the gym make sure you are training smartly. If you are lifting weights, are you lifting based off of percentages or are you just lifting to lift? What are you doing today that will make you better tomorrow? I try to ask myself that question everyday. If you are strictly following CrossFit make sure you set some benchmark workout goals to make sure the mainsite programming is working for you.
I will be pushing this one all year! If you are a competitive athlete you know your body so listen to it. If you are not an athlete you most likely need some rest. A lot of people are overtrained and don’t really know it. Check out my article on Overtraining and the Value of Rest if you need some convincing on rest.
Whether you are just starting, starting again, or trying to accomplish some serious fitness goals this year, make sure you are going about it the right way. Best of luck! I would love to see some people’s goals for 2012!!
Photo by Kevin Dooley