Are you waiting for New Year's Day to wipe the slate clean, to start anew, to begin your transformation? If so, you're waiting for only one thing: failure.
Now, some good news: The symbolism that gives New Year's Day all its power can be recreated any day, every day. Today, in fact.
That's because the perception that January 1 is a clean slate or a fresh start is just that—a perception. In truth, it's just another 24-hour span, and we can do with that what we please. (Just so it doesn't include "Salsa for Singles.")
What's more important than any date on the calendar is the awareness or understanding that you and only you control the choices you make EVERY day. Couple that awareness with the readiness to change, and you're mentally prepared to start tackling your goals today.
Screw the New Year's Resolution; you're ready to make your New You Resolution.
Visualize "You 2.0"
It may take some creative thinking, but imagine your life transformed. See yourself achieving your goals, enjoying life in top physical form, never using the shortcomings of your body as an excuse for missed opportunities.
Be honest, tough, and intense. Speak to the transformed version of yourself, the man or woman dying to burst out and create a better life filled with energy, vitality, and strength. Write down this message. Put it in a spot you see every day, maybe tucked in the edge of your bathroom mirror, next to your computer screen, or on your refrigerator door.
Make Your "New You" Resolution
What will you resolve to change today? Begin with a general resolution to "lose weight" or "finally get fit," but there are more strategic methods of goal setting that deliver greater chances of long-term success.
In Body By Design, Kris Gethin introduces the FLOW system for goal setting. FLOW stands for a Fixed goal, a Limitless goal, Opportunities you will gain by pursuing or achieving your goal, and Weaknesses that may sneak in and try to sabotage your success.
Click To Enlarge.
When it comes to goal setting, being strategic will skyrocket your odds for long-term success. Part of that is putting to pen to paper.
Let's take a look at Gethin's own FLOW chart to see how the system works:
- Fixed Goal: To increase my upper pectoral development and lat width
- Limitless Goal: To continually redefine the limits of my strength training skills and knowledge-and enjoy every minute of it!
- Opportunities: To make new connections with inspiring people every day.
- Weaknesses: Skip the bacon!
You can see that a fixed goal is one that connects to an appearance-related outcome; limitless goals to things that will inspire him from within; opportunities relates to the new doors that will open as he maintains his commit to health and fitness; and weaknesses lays out the potential road blocks that may pop up.
Keep in mind, creating goals and resolutions is not a stagnant process; you'll notice that in the success stories highlighted above, each individual created an initial resolution and then let it transform from there, allowing their goals to push them further each time. To maximize your success, give the FLOW system a try (you can also read more about it in Body By Design).
A Final, Crucial Key to Success
Once you've made your resolution or even taken it up a notch to create specific goals, it's important to go public with them. Sharing your goals with others--everyone who will listen--is like putting up safety nets all around you that ensure you stay on track. For the biggest bang for your buck, create a BodySpace and start posting your goals there. You'll immediately gain access to a social network of more than 600,000 members--people who will encourage you when you post your goals, and inspire and motivate you to pursue those goals.
Remember, every day is an opportunity to start fresh. Create your "New You" Resolution today and you've taken the first step toward total transformation.
Click To Enlarge.
If at first you don't succeed … join the club. Studies show you're more likely to succeed on your second or third try.
In Body By Design, Kris Gethin highlights several top BodySpace members who've undergone phenomenal transformations, each of their evolutions beginning with a transformation trigger that catapulted them into a New You Resolution. These individuals overcame incredible obstacles to overhaul their lifestyles, eventually discovering that life is infinitely better when you face its challenges, joys, and everything in between with a strong, fit, and healthy body.
From Transformation Trigger To A New You Resolution
Let's take a look at a few of their stories and how a trigger turned into a life-changing New You Resolution:
Name: Brad Spencer
Starting Weight: 372 pounds
Current Weight: 215 pounds
Body Fat % Change: 41.6%
"I had recently moved into a new city and most of my kitchen dishes were still in boxes, so I went to a Chinese buffet to eat. As I was sitting and eating, I noticed a couple of tables away a young girl, perhaps 4 or 5 years old, watching me eat. The look on her face was not disgust or repulsion as so many adults had-this look was sheer curiosity.
I know that she had never seen anyone like me eat. Her parents tried to get her to stop staring at me, telling her it was not polite. She would look away for a few seconds until her parents were satisfied, then she would turn back to me watching."New You Resolution:
"My very first resolution at that restaurant table was not to die. I knew my weight was driving me to that point. I was determined not to let this kill me. It wasn't even words; it was a feeling, a drive, and it was amazingly strong, to the point that I could not even take another bite at that table.
After some thinking and reading, I was able to put that drive into more concrete terms. My resolution changed from that general feeling into 'I will lose weight and get into shape.' Then, I made that into a very specific goal: 'I will be under size 40 pants.' Which evolved into size 36, then 34, and then 'gain muscle to see my abs.'
The long-range resolution like I had at my trigger point was fine, but to make it happen, I needed specific resolutions to get me there. And once I got there, I learned I wanted more. I still do it in the same way."Advice To "Before" Self:
"I would scream at my old self to get up, to get started, not to allow another second to go by. Life is far too precious to let slip away in doubts and the 'comfort zone.' Life has so much to offer-go out and LIVE IT. Lose the weight, gain the muscle, go out and MAKE your life what you know it can be and what you want it to be.
Appreciate every moment. And, never stop-there is no end to fitness, it is a journey. Love the journey."
Name: Rochelle Ford
Starting Weight: 237 pounds
Current Weight: 127 pounds
Body Fat % Change: N/A
"My family history of diabetes, obesity, and heart attacks. My mother has survived four heart attacks and my father one. Both parents also developed type 2 diabetes in their fifties from their lifestyles."New You Resolution:
"Starting off, my commitment was to simply to lose weight by making lifestyle changes, but that eventually became 'to finally fulfill my dream of competing in a figure competition'-a goal I fulfilled in November 2009.
My goals and resolutions continued to grow from there-I have now gotten the chance to share my story in magazines and on TV. I feel that I have only peeled back one layer of the 'True U' that's in me, with so many more layers to discover. I know that the best is still yet to come!"
Advice To "Before" Self:
"Don't fight this lifestyle change and understand that it's necessary to move forward. There are people depending on this change from you so that your story can be shared with many people, showing that change is possible. You will get to the 'True U'-I promise.
It's time to stop hiding behind comforts like food and feeling as if you have to walk this road all alone. You can no longer live trapped inside that body for it will eventually bring on some of the health issues and that is a painful and frightening road that you don't want to take.
Know that choosing your health and fitness will be hard, but it will be a life-changing choice and it will create an amazing journey and a brand-new life filled with opportunities you never imagined."
Name: Monica Gregerson
Starting Weight: 173 pounds
Current Weight: 116 pounds
Body Fat % Change: 26.5%
"After major work stress led to weight gain, I went to the store to buy larger jeans and went to a size ten, but they didn't fit. And neither did the 12 or the size 14.When I still had issues with size 16 jeans, it hit me hard how much weight I had really gained and there was a huge problem. I didn't buy the jeans that day instead I went home and vowed to make serious changes."New You Resolution:
"I think it all really sank in when I saw my pictures and did measurements. I compared my size and weight to men, particularly NFL players! I said, 'I am going to lose this weight, come hell or high water because I refuse to look like the person in those pictures!'
I wanted my outside to match my inside self and personality and I didn't want to be one those people who people say 'oh, but she has such a pretty face...' about. That was my big overall goal, but I broke it down into smaller, more easily (or quickly) attained goals, and updated those as I made progress."Advice To "Before" Self:
"You know in your heart how badly you want to make this change. Don't be afraid of failure and believe in yourself-you can achieve what you think is the impossible! You can accomplish amazing things-start by focusing on the day-to-day choices you make and you will experience results on a grand scale. And guess what? You are going to have an amazing new wardrobe!"