The Problem with New Year’s Resolutions and how you can be successful with yours!

   Having been in the fitness industry for well over 4 years now I see the same thing every year; January hits and the gym gets crazy! Everyone is rushing in to get signed up so they can begin their journey to being fit, and living a healthier and happier life style. According to a study held by GoBankingRates on 5,000 people in 2016 when asked the top 3 resolutions made in January were, 1: Enjoy life to the fullest, 2: LIVE A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE, and 3: LOSE WEIGHT. So, it makes sense that the gym would get much busier come January. Unfortunately, although the trend may be that it picks up in January, it also slows down drastically a few months later. 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions each year and only 8% of those succeed with those goals! 38% of those resolutions are weight or fitness related. (Statistic Brain- New Year’s Resolution Statistics)  Why is this? What is the problem and why do most people fail at their resolutions each year? 

    I have found that when asking people what their goals are for fitness they have very vague answers. “I want to lose weight. I want to be more toned. I want to be healthier.” All of these are fantastic goals to have, however, being this vague can be a reason as to why you can’t or have failed at reaching that goal. How much weight do you want to lose? What does tone look like to you? What is healthier? Do you want to lose 5lbs? Do you want to get back down to a specific weight? Do you want to fit back in the pair of jeans from last year or two years ago? Would you like to see the definition in your arms again? Maybe you’d like to work on your legs more. Maybe it’s getting off of your medication for high blood pressure. Or maybe you take medication for high cholesterol. What is healthy? 

    Allen Kryger, our Personal Training Director here at Gold’s had this advice when asked how to be successful with these goals: “When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions and Fitness the most important thing to remember is making your resolution as SPECIFIC as possible. Everyone is going to set new goals to go to the gym and lose weight and get stronger but that’s not good enough. Your resolution must be specific; if you want to lose weight you should have a specific number. “I want to lose 20lbs in 2 months”. Now, that is a new year’s resolution! If you want to get stronger: “I want to be able to do 5 pull-ups before my birthday”; you now have a number, something clear and concise to what you want to accomplish. Once you’ve achieved that goal you now have all the tools to keep going. Make more goals and keep them short and specific and you will see the results!” Being as specific as possible gives you something to chase. It would be like telling someone you want a pair of shoes for Christmas but failing to tell them what type of shoe, what color, and what size you’re looking for. It leaves it open for interpretation. Be as specific as you can and then come up with a plan! 

    The next question you want to ask yourself is: Is your goal realistic? One of the top reasons people do not achieve their goals is their goal was unrealistic or too big. “I want to lose 50lbs in a month!” Is this realistic? Probably not! So, what happens? They join a gym in January, they work out 7 days a week for the first few weeks for two hours a day, and they burn themselves out, and guess what? They didn’t lose 50lbs and they quit. Fitness goals and resolutions are challenging in themselves. They require commitment and many times they require TIME. Setting specific and realistic goals is extremely important for success. Do not be afraid to start small. Once you hit that first goal have a second goal in the back of your mind to achieve. It is very easy to become discouraged when you don’t achieve your goal right away; imagine trying to drop 50lbs in one month! However, losing 10 pounds in one month is much more achievable and just think of how much more drive you will have for that second goal once you have hit your first one! Start small! 

    How many people set a goal and then have no idea how to achieve it. Setting a goal is definitely the most important step, however, what about the steps to follow? How are you going to lose 20lbs in 3 months? How are you going to build the strength up to get 5 pull-ups in before your birthday?  It would be like setting the goal to buying a new car but having no plan in place to save the money up for that car. Maybe, you have no idea how to achieve those goals. That would be a good indication that you should ask someone for help. Now, you wouldn’t ask a plumber how to lose weight or gain strength. Unless that plumber just so happened to have a background in personal training. Ask a staff member at your gym who the best person would be to talk to. Our trainers are all educated and equipped with the information and knowledge to help you succeed! To help you set those goals and make them achievable! Not only that but they can help you achieve them, stick with them, and set more! Your plan is key. Yours. Not anyone else’s. It should be specific and personalized for you. 

    Once you have your goal, and your plan, you now need time. Setting time aside to work towards that goal. Valissa, one of our trainers at Gold’s gave this advice: “Setting a goal can be pretty easy. Sticking to that goal is what makes it challenging. I’ve found that no matter how motivated you are to your goal and how much you initially plan for it, there are always unexpected events (good and bad) that occur and seem to throw you off the path of reaching your goal. Being aware of the fact that even the most carefully thought-out goal can still have its interruptions is a great step in helping you stick to it. Planning for inevitable interruptions is not always possible, but making sure to have other options or ways to work towards your goal is helpful. For instance, if your goal is to get to the gym 3 days a week be prepared to plan some flexibility into your week - instead of getting it set in your mind that you will be going on these specific days at this specific time. We make room in our schedules for what we prioritize as important. Even when unexpected challenges come along we can choose to bend with the flexibility to accommodate the new changes instead of choosing to completely break the habit.” You might take something else away from Valissa’s advice. Make the time you set aside realistic! I’ve had so many people say “My goal is to get here 6 days a week!” That’s an amazing goal to have, however, is it realistic? As Valissa mentioned, things will pop up. A last minute event, your car breaks down, you have to work late. Where is the wiggle room if something does come up? As important as it is to set a realistic goal, it is also just as important to set aside realistic time to work towards that goal. 

    There are many problems with New Year’s Resolutions. Unrealistic. Too Big. No Plan. No Time. I could go on and on. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make a resolution this year. Just take your time setting your goals. Figure out a plan of action and set aside the time. Tell someone! Telling someone about your goal helps keep you accountable. Write it down. Put it on your calendar. Find a workout buddy. Create a new song playlist for your workouts! I remember the last goal I set for myself I created a playlist of my own and named it “You will compete”. Every time I pulled up my playlist it gave me a sense of drive and motivation. It sounds silly, but whatever works for you do it. Because as difficult as it may be to stick with your New Year’s Resolutions, it is not impossible! For even in the word impossible says I’m Possible.

If you have more questions on keeping realistic fitness goals, just talk to one of our staff members or contact us about personal training at http://www.goldsgym.com/websterny/contact/ or call us direct at 5853470047.

Thanks for reading!