New Year's Resolutions are crap. Seriously, why even make them? Why put off till next year what you can get started on TODAY. Every year in every gym in America, the masses of New Years Newbies flock to the membership desk and sign up in an attempt to change their lives. Within three weeks, most of them are gone. Why do they put off making a change for one specific day, then just up and disappear? Simple: its not important to them.
Every so often, something happens to us that I like to call having a "Lightbulb Moment". It's that moment when we get that one piece of advice or tidbit of knowledge that when upon hearing it, everything in the world just makes sense. One of those Lightbulb Moments for me was this: "When something is important to you, you will ALWAYS find a way to make it happen. When something isn't important to you, you will ALWAYS find an excuse." It applies in many instances, but it's that same advice I give to anyone looking to make healthy lifestyle changes.Sometimes that phrase gets blown off as no big deal where we may go "yeah, yeah, whatever..." Whether you believe it or not, when you tear down that wall you may have up, it does ring true.
I'll give you some examples:
-You don't HAVE to go to work. Seriously, you really don't. You can quit your job today if you wanted to. Nothing is physically stopping you if you set your mind to it. However, you need income. You got to pay your bills. You need to provide for your family. Therefore, your job is important to you. Hence, you make an effort to show up every day and do good work.
-Your kids don't need to go to their activities. You don't need to drive them all over creation to get them to soccer practice. They won't die if they don't go. The world will not end because they blew off dance lessons. But your children's happiness is important to you, and most of all to them. So once again, you find a way to get them there.
-Personally, I hate vacuuming my apartment. It's the one chore I hate doing. I do whatever I can to avoid it. But the cleanliness of my living space is important to me, and I hate listening to my mother about how much of a pig pen my apartment is. So, much to my dog's dismay (he's terrified of the vacuum cleaner), I bust out the vacuum and don't stop till my place doesn't have a speck of dust anywhere.
That same mindset needs to be adopted to health and fitness if you are going to be successful. Losing 30 lbs is NOT easy. Neither is training for your first 5K, a Spartan race or the big bike ride. Trying to fit in that dress that at the moment is two sizes too small won't happen unless you focus your efforts to make it happen. It takes daily effort in the gym, at home AND at work.
If you go to the gym and say "well, at least I'm here"; do yourself a favor and go home. That attitude will NEVER get you the results you want. You are basically saying "I showed up, but don't want to be here so I'm going to give a half-hearted effort." You might achieve success. Sometimes being a "C+" student is all you need. Why not give it your all and get an "A"? Getting in shape is a performance based job; the harder you work, the better your success rate.
I've never been one of those trainers who insists that you should LOVE working out. There are many days when it is a dreaded chore. So is going to work, getting your kids to their activities, and vacuuming. By placing exercise as one of your top priorities and finding every way possible to make your fitness goals happen, you will find yourself reaching milestones you never thought possible. "When something is important to you, you will ALWAYS find a way to make it happen. When something isn't important to you, you will ALWAYS find an excuse."
What are you waiting for, 2014?
Frank Francis is a personal trainer and small group fitness instructor at
Fitness Together North Andover located at 73 Main Street North