Resolution Time

I hate New Year’s resolutions. I hate them in the same way I hate people going to Vegas to make some money. I hate resolutions because they don’t work.

What makes you think that this year you’ll behave any different than last year? Why waste your time (and mine) talking about a fitness goal that you really won’t pursue? You might think I’m being a little negative for a guy that’s supposed to help people reach goals…but you’d be wrong. I’m just saying that resolutions are just the names of very difficult and extensive projects that most of us can’t complete. Are you more fit this year than last? If not, you should scrap your plan from last year and build something all new. Are you smarter? Richer? Younger?

See what I’m getting at? OK, o we know that saying you want to lose 50 pounds by June is fun, but the chances of you really getting there are, well…better just book those tickets to Vegas instead. So how DO you succeed? It’s pretty simple, but it’s a mile from easy.

First, ou’ve got to have a clear and measurable goal. It’s got to be achievable, and it’s got to have a time line…remember, someday never comes. Losing 50 pounds by June meets all of those criteria, assuming you can physically afford to lose that weight.

Next, you have got to have a plan. Goals without plans are wishes. Here’s a hint: Don’t try to lose all the weight in April and May. You have got 5 months, so you have absolutely got to lose at least 10 pounds per month, every month. How will you get there? What ways will you choose to increase caloric expenditure and decrease your intake? Another hint: Walking absolutely will not get you there, nor will “moderation” in your nutrition. Moderation is for congressmen. You are going to war, so you’d better prepare for it. Set a big gaol like this and you’re in the fight of your life.

Third, build your army. Enlist friends to help keep you on track. Get the books and resources you need to help you get the work done. Learn some new recipes. Read the labels of your food. Meet with your doctor or nutritionist or coach and ask for the help you’ll need to get there. I think blogs are great training logs, and can be a great way to share your journey with friends. Write your weight on the wall at the gym, and use your real name.

Fourth, review. Get honest. Look where you’re weak (and you are weak…), and find a way to strengthen those weaknesses. Ask yourself if you can really do it. Then go to work. If you hit some bumps in the road, don’t quit. Get going again, fix the thing that caused you to fail, and don’t let it stop you again.

A couple of final thoughts. First, training has got to take you out of your comfort zone. If your body isn’t being stressed, it won’t adapt. Second, understand that results don’t come overnight. Losing weight, our favorite resolution, is a herculean task. It’d be easier to get most people fit enough to run a marathon than to get 50 pounds off. 1% bodyweight loss per week is screaming-fast.

You’ve got to make profound changes in your behavior if you’re going to see big physical changes. I’ve said it before, you know what you need to do, now you’ve got to act.