Resolve To Keep Going
January has ended, and it’s likely that your enthusiasm for your New Year’s Resolutions has waned with each passing day. I know how it is, you start off all enthusiastic, but by day ten (or even by day two), you’re over it.
Well, get over being over it! Did you want what you wanted then, or were you just talking smack? You threw around words like “life change”, “more exercise“, and “best shape of my life”. How is that looking in your life right now?
If you’re like 90+% of Americans, you’ve already blown it. The only time you think about your “resolutions”, it’s to find an excuse for the guilt you feel. I get it, I’ve been there. Like I said, you didn’t REALLY want it anyhow.
If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s people talking about something they’re never going to do. Finish their Bachelor’s degrees. Buy a house. Get out of debt. As they say, it’s time to fish or cut line.
When I had my first management job at the tender age of twenty, my regional manager told me that goals have to be SMART:
Dig out that slip of paper you wrote your resolutions on, and let’s fix those goals. Or scrap them and come up with some totally new goals. Who says January first is the only time to have resolve? Heck, when I finally decided to drop the I’d be willing to be that your goal wasn’t SMART. A general goal like “I want to get in great shape” will never take you there. Why? Because it’s not specific. Saying “I want to get stronger” isn’t measurable.
Let’s pick something that’s SMART. Say I want to run a half-marathon in June.
It’s specific, I want to run 13.1 miles. It’s measurable, there’s a 1. Change up the activity. If you run every day, that’s fantastic! After a while though, you might get bored.
What happens if you get an injury and have no other exercise to fall back on? You’ll just quit altogether! We don’t hear the term “cross-training” all that much anymore, but it’s as important as ever.
One of my most favorite activities is pool work. I hate water. I do. But I don’t mind H20 fitness at all. It’s easy on the joints, any age and fitness level can do it, even pregnant women (with clearance from medical providers, blah blah).
Get on the bike. Dust off the stair climber. Row (erg) for a bit. Even one day a week of something other than your usual can rekindle the flame.
2. Try a group ex class. I know, I know. I was scared to death to try classes at first. But after trying literally every class on the schedule over the course of a year, I’ve found that I like the variety and can do anything once a week.
I took a modern jazz class. I took a funk/hip hop fusion class. I hated them at first. After about three weeks, though, I discovered that I’m not a terrible dancer. Next month will be my first dance-iversary, and I’m so happy I started.
I took kickboxing and realized that I’m a bad mamma jamma. There, I said it. My black-belt instructor asked me how many belts I had. I said, “uh, two”? And then I realized that she meant in martial arts. It fueled my fire, and I kept trying to get better and better.
Finally I faced my archnemesis: multi-step. That is, step aerobics using four steps per person. I almost left about the first ten weeks, but when it clicked, it was in there safe and sound. I love step now.
The beauty of literally taking everything on the schedule, from yoga and 3. Work out with a partner. Say you go to a no-frills gym without classes. What should you do? Work out with a friend. I don’t care if it’s a friend you take to the gym or make at the gym, you push yourself more when someone’s watching.
Even if it’s just once a week, out competitive natures won’t let us lose. If you’re prone to defeatist thinking, a friend can help you put your chin up and get back to work. It’s a win-win.
4. Make a vision board. I know it sounds corny, but when you have a visual representation in front of you, it’ll often inspire you to keep going.
What is it that you want from fitness? If it’s weight loss, tape a scale on your board. If it’s sleek muscles, tape up a physique you love. It it’s getting off your medication, tape up the receipt for how much you spend on it. How could you better spend that money?
5. Get a trainer. Do you know why they say, “Put your money where your mouth is”? Because when you put up the cash, you’re more likely to stick with it.
Can’t afford a trainer? How about one of the virtual trainers? They’re cheap (especially compared with their real-life counterparts) or even free.
6. Switch up the location. If your membership allows it, go to a different branch of your gym. Or maybe you should try indoor fitness if you always work out outside, and vice-versa.
If you’re bored, why not try a program like P90X or another fitness DVD? Anything that gets you moving is a good thing, especially when you just need a little spark to rekindle your flame for fitness.
Remember, put up or shut up. If you want it, go for it. If not, that’s cool, just don’t come whining to me when you didn’t do the work.
Let me know what works for you, I can’t wait to hear what unique ideas you have to keep motivated.