How to Avoid The New Year Resolution Trap

with Performance Specialist Mike Simon, CSCS, CPT, FMS, USAW

As January 1st comes and goes a slew of resolutions are made.  We make promises to ourselves that 2017 will be different.  We will eat better, exercise more, make more time for ourselves, etc.  These resolutions can be far-fetched or they can be fair, either way we make them and too often every year we break them.  The biggest and most popular is the “I am going to join a gym resolution.” A long time ago I dubbed these gym goers “resolutionists.”

 

The “resolutionist” will come to the gym consistently for a few weeks (months for the more disciplined) and seemingly be focused on their new goals.  They’ll do cardiovascular exercise and take group exercise classes and maybe even seek help from a trainer or a friend that has experience.  They will come every day and work out. After a few weeks they will start to lose their motivation.  They’ll skip a few days and then return.  That trend will continue until they are rarely seen, if at all.  So what happened? Why is the rate of failure so high with many of them?

 

The problem for most is they make going to the gym a chore as opposed to a positive experience.  Their brains decide they need the exercise but it wasn’t a part of their lives before.  If something isn’t a part of your day it can be very hard for that to become a habit and a part of your daily life. To be successful you need discipline and motivation, resolutonists’ goals can be very lofty and unattainable.  When exercise enthusiasts wake up in the morning many will check their schedules and figure out when they can get a workout in.  Another problem is a lack of perceived results can cause disinterest and a feeling of “this isn’t working for me, what’s the point?” One way to help this is to hire a personal trainer to help keep you in check.  A trainer can give you a baseline of health before you start exercising and then retest that baseline as you are exercising to see the positive results.  Just having an appointment two times a week can keep you motivated and honest with yourself.

Begin making a goal of going to the gym two times a week and then once that becomes a part of your day you can increase.  Too much all at once can cause burn out and that, along with no perceived results are a big reason we lose motivation.  Good luck everyone and welcome year 2017 in a healthy, successful and positive way.

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