My Half-Hearted Attempt at Helping You Succeed With Your Health and Fitness Resolutions in 2020
It’s a new year.
Nay, a new decade.
And with it comes the inevitable avalanche of fitness professionals giving advice on how to make your New Year’s Resolutions “stick.”
This isn’t quite one of those posts.
Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s great many people use this time of year to renew their goals, use it as an opportunity to rejuvenate themselves and kickstart a healthier lifestyle, and/or otherwise press the refresh button.
- You’re finally going to purchase that gym membership? Great.
- Okay, you’re intrigued by this whole Vegan thing? Fantastic.
- You’re going to make a concerted effort to get more sleep and drink less caffeine and more water? Lovely.
- You’re gonna start taking CBD oil to help manage your anxiety and diabetes, curtail inflammation, and help you beat Jason Bourne in a fist fight? Cool.1.
But honestly, part of my soul is dying that I’m taking time to write a “resolution post” in the first place.
It’s so cliche.
I mean, what’s next? Me posting a picture of me smiling to the camera while draping my arms over a barbell in the squat rack to make my arms look bigger?
What could I possibly say or do (from the internet) to inspire people to not be a statistic and stick with their New Year’s Resolutions past next week?
Well, thankfully, my good friend, and non-sexual life partner, Dean Somerset, wrote a bang-up post on his Facebook page the other day doing just that.
It’s short and sweet and provides a ton of actionable context.
Check it out HERE.
I don’t want to come across as a complete curmudgeon, however.
I recognize my words have some power in the industry and I wanted to take a few moments to share a quick example of how, when the time comes (and it WILL come), when you want to quit or cheat a workout, what you can do to re-frame your train of thought
As you embark on your fitness journey it’s unavoidable you’ll encounter days you’ll want to skip or give up altogether.
Who needs to workout when you can binge watch The Witcher on Netflix?
This feeling is normal.
Hell, I’ve been lifting weights since I was 13 (at this point it’s part of my DNA) and have made my living telling people to do the same since 2002, and even I have days I’d rather jump into the depth of Mordor than look at a dumbbell.
Too, sometimes I’ll be in the middle of a workout, exhausted, or just not feeling it that day, and think to myself, “I really don’t want to do this next exercise/set/finisher/what-have-you.”
I’m going home.
Yes, it’s true. Despite our best efforts to portray otherwise on social media…
…even us fitness pros succumb to epic cases of the “Fuck It’s.”
Honestly, it’s okay and a perfectly acceptable human emotion.
And sometimes you should give in to it. A day or two (or three) off from the gym isn’t going to be the end of the world and often begets better and more productive subsequent workouts.
However, and this is my inner Captain Obvious coming straight at you…
…this shouldn’t be a regular thing.
Whether you want to call it grit, resiliency, or mettle, there’s a lot to be said about sticking to the plan and building upon that base of consistency. Instead, and using myself as an example, when these thoughts enter my mind, I’ll acknowledge them and let them metabolize, but then take a page from my wife, Dr. Lisa Lewis, and do a slight re-frame.
Instead of quitting the exercise/set/workout or cheating I’ll think to myself:
“Okay, here comes the tough part. This is what I want. I’m about to get stronger, more diesel, and/or altogether more badass. My wife is totally going to want to make out with me when she sees these pecs.”
I don’t beat myself up for thinking the negative thoughts.
Again, it’s normal.
You do it, I do it, I suspect Tom Brady does it, we all do it.
I’ll allow the thoughts to happen, to ruminate for several seconds, but then I’ll set the re-frame, turn the page, and complete my set/workout.
The mind-trick works.
It could be used for other, non-lifting goals too. Embrace the power of the re-frame.
Do it. DO IT.