Lets face something we’ve all encountered at some new year or another: Come February, all new year’s resolutions seem like a waste or a “what was I thinking?” moment. Many people have resolutions that revolve around nutrition, exercise, fitness goals, aesthetic goals, and many of those include a number goal.
“I’m gonna lose 10lbs.”
“I’m gonna lose 30lbs.”
“I’m gonna run and lose 20lbs”
I think we’re all familiar with these situations. I’ve been there myself. And yes, come February, maybe even just a couple weeks into January, everything seems to fall apart and I want nothing to do with what I thought I wanted. I then get frustrated that I can’t stick with it, maybe even depressed for a few days, and then I’m back to my pre New Year routine of doing whatever it is I was doing before.
I’ve read many things about staying motivated or digging in deep to keep going. That may work for some people, but not for me. I’m a dad. My biggest motivation is to make sure my kids have shelter, food, clothes, and are generally taken care of. That takes time and energy in and of itself. At the end or beginning of the day, I don’t much feel like going to the gym, or going out to the driveway to lift tires, or whatever else it is I’m “wanting” to do.
I want to sit and relax with a Netflix binge, eat lots of comforting food, and put whatever it is I’m “wanting” to do off until I’m feeling slightly motivated again, only to have the cycle repeat.
How do we break this vicious cycle?
Here’s a few tricks I’ve learned. It’s not full proof, but I’ve found most things we don’t do are more for psychological reasons, and not physical ones.
- Quit treating the New Year like a Monday
- Do Something You Love or Something New
- Do It With Your Spouse or Friend
I decided several years ago to quit treating the New Year like a Monday. Monday is the day you start something. I don’t know why, probably because it’s the first “working day” of the week. But putting something off till Monday is just like New Year.
“I’m gonna start this AFTER Christmas,” is a phrase I’ve heard countless times, just like, “I’m gonna start this on Monday.”
Then there’s Chinese New Year and Jewish New Year. Why bring this up? Because everyone seems to have a definition of a new year. Which is it? Which day is really Monday? It’s arbitrary. That’s the only answer that matters. It’s completely ARBITRARY!
My new year starts on my birthday, and that’s the time I look back and reflect and see if there are some things I want to change. But I also do it on Fridays, Sundays, and every other day of the week, during any month, regardless of the day because I live not for a future date, but I live right now.
If I decided to breath on Monday, but not until then because holding my breath seems like so much fun now, people might wonder what in the world I’m doing.
Monday is TODAY!
New Years is EVERYDAY!
Choose to act NOW, and not when it’s more convenient. If you’re motivated now, why are you going to be just as motivated a few days or weeks from now? Choosing to act now is a powerful force in your life.
Do Something You Love or New
Had I never gone with my brother to the gym when I was 21 and let him (younger) teach me, I never would have found the joy of lifting. That new year started in April of 2003. I learned to love lifting as I got stronger as became more mentally tough. It was awesome.
A buddy of mine likes to swim. If he came to lift with me, the soreness and exertion might not be to his liking and he probably wouldn’t stick with it.
I used to play racquetball and love it. I wasn’t good, but I didn’t care. I was moving and it was fun.
Like basketball? Perfect because there are people that want to play it and now you have new friends and acquaintances.
Why does a person enjoy a Netflix binge? Because they get to do something they love; watching their favorite show over and over. Makes sense. I love lifting because it’s something I get to do over and over. Same with my other buddy who lifts with me. We like to make goals and then accomplish them. I currently have no Netflix binge goals, but I sure would love to lift 1300lbs combined total on bench, squat and dead lift.
People who don’t like to cook won’t become good cooks. People who don’t enjoy writing probably won’t be authors. If you hate lifting but love being in the water swimming, then DO IT! You’ll stick to whatever it is you love.
As I mentioned, do something with your spouse, significant other or friend. I love working out with my wife. Most of the time it involves her doing her lifts and me doing mine, but at least we’re at the gym doing something we like. (Maybe one day she’ll start training with me but until then I just patiently await)
Having a lifting partner has helped me in the gym. While I still have to put in the requisite work, a spotter is always helpful that I know, rather than trying to gather some random guy hoping that he won’t lift the bar for me if I’m struggling.
Having friends with you is more fun. We’ve all heard it helps keep you accountable, and while that is true, if neither of you have the motivation it simply wont matter. Do something active with someone who WANTS to do the same thing you WANT. It makes staying power that much more.
I’ve been through several people who started lifting with me and then for whatever stopped a few weeks or so out. Lifting wasn’t for them. We’re still friends and hang out, but just not at the gym. That doesn’t help me in the gym. A friend who like to lift with goals does.
Find that person or acquaintance and start a new friendship doing something you love.
Make today your day!