Do you know people who eat everything in sight until January 1, the day they resolve to start their diet and lose 50 pounds? They start out like gangbusters eating salads and baked chicken and working out every day. Then, within 2 weeks the excuses start rolling in, they fall off the wagon for a few days, eat a few cookies and throw in the towel claiming that they just can't lose the weight.
If this is you, let's make your New Year's stick this time.
What Are New Year's Resolutions?
New Year's resolutions serve a few purposes. First, they help people procrastinate. You don't really need a New Year to start making changes. Heck, you can have an "ah-ha" moment in the middle of a random day and decide to make a resolution. On the flip side though, New Year's Resolutions resonate with people. The start of a new year signifies a time to reflect on the past and pave your way toward a fabulous future.
A resolution is defined as "the act of determining." Therefore, a New Year's resolution is the decision to make a change. Notice that the words determining and change both require an active commitment - which is different than dreaming or wishful thinking. How do you take action? You make things happen by creating a plan.
A plan is a formal route to your destination. Think of it like a GPS. If you are driving from your home in New York to a beach vacation in Miami, you'll need a plan for how to get there - what car are you taking, when are you leaving, where are you stopping and staying overnight and who are your companions?
The first step in any plan is to clearly determine your goal (remember to make your goal SMART). Next, determine your level of motivation. If you aren't willing to give up your weekend beer binges, your resolution shouldn't involve 6-pack abs. However, let's say you work full time but you are highly committed and willing to do anything to finish your college degree, then you have some leeway regarding the "how" part of your plan.
Video Tip Of The Week, 21: Diana Chaloux's Goals Tip!
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Your second step is to pave your path. If your end goal is pretty far off in the future, try setting checkpoints along the way (10-pound weight loss by a certain date, the next 10 pounds 5 weeks later etc.)
And last, figure out if you need a reward system or if you feel rewarded enough by achieving each checkpoint along the way.
How Bodybuilding Can Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions
Bodybuilders Make Specific Goals: Bodybuilders know that vague goals are nearly impossible to measure. And if you can't measure it, how do you know when you've met your goal? Bodybuilder's set out with clear, measureable goals.
Bodybuilders Keep Track Of Their Progress: Most serious bodybuilders, those really gunning for big time changes, keep track of their workouts and progress. Some do this in a formal workout journal or keep track on-line at Bodybuilding.com while others write down what they did on an electronic or paper calendar.
You can use a similar system to make progress toward a resolution - if you know what steps you have accomplished, it's easier to adjust your plan and stay motivated toward achieving your goal.
Bodybuilders Stay Positive: What's one of the biggest fears that people have? Failure. And, when it comes to making changes in one's body, eating better and exercising, many people own the concept of failing if they've deviated from their plan for just one day.
However, bodybuilders realize that setbacks happen, wings and beer are tempting and one minor deviation doesn't mean they are throwing in the towel. They don't beat themselves up in their mind but they aren't afraid to beat up on punching bags in cardio kickboxing.
Bodybuilders Learn From Their Setbacks: Some people give up when they get injured, find out they have a disease or condition such as osteoporosis. However, bodybuilders learn from their setbacks and roadblocks and take detours.
Injuries and illness happen. But, as a bodybuilder, this won't derail you from your plan. In fact, these things will only make you more determined to find another way to continue progressing toward your goals in the gym and in life.
Bodybuilders Realize That They Grow With Every Experience: Change is a process, not a static point in time. Bodybuilders grow with every new day and aim for new heights after they achieve their goals.
Additional Tips To Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions
- Reward yourself when you hit milestones.
- Prepare your environment for success, physically and mentally.
- Join a support group, meetup.com group, local business organization or any other group of like-minded people.
- Ask when you need help and delegate when possible to reduce your load.
- Stick to a schedule (and carve out your time to exercise like you would a doctor's appointment).
- Learn from the experts - take advantage of your professors, mentors, training partners, manager at work and anyone else who can teach you.
Though resolutions can be made at any time of the year, there is something significant to starting a New Year by making positive changes. It sets the tone for the upcoming 365 days and gives you something to look forward to and a purpose to every single day.