Don’t make a resolution, Make a commitment – achieve a goal.
The New Year is approaching which means that we are almost through the holiday season. As we roll through Thanksgiving and into Christmas for about five weeks we are inundated with holiday parties, luncheons, gatherings and any other excuse to indulge outside of our normal routines and habits. The glutinous initiation begins at Thanksgiving with an all-day feast of enchanting aromatic foods and pies. This continues for days afterwards with all the left-overs. – Side note: who keeps making the jelloee-marshmellowee concoction that never gets eaten, yet made every year? Nobody is eating it!
From Thanksgiving we roll right into work holiday parties, friendly get-togethers and kids festivities. We are surrounded by, and I quote a friend, “chocolate covered things, pies, green chile and cheese tamales; a whole bunch of fattening and wonderful goodness.” Not to mention all the alcohol that is used to ensure everyone is jolly! We can’t help but feel a little sluggish and overstuffed come the end of December. Our instinctive course of action is to make a New Year’s resolution to not do that again and drop the extra pounds put on over the holidays.
And with that, most people are finished before they even truly start. The few who do put it into action fizzle out before they actually remember to stop writing last year’s date (2012) on everything.
So how do you avoid this? First thing is don’t make a resolution! Telling yourself you are going to change a behavior is non-binding and weak (just ask the U.N.). Make a commitment to yourself or someone that will hold you accountable. Here take a look at the definitions and see the difference:
Resolution: a formal expression of opinion, will, or intent
Commitment: a pledge or promise; obligation
A resolution is weak and wimpy. It leaves plenty of room to abdicate yourself from it with no real consequences. Commitment on the other hand, is strong and powerful. You are not merely expressing your intent, as is the case with a resolution, but rather you are promising to do it; you are obligating yourself to that. It is like saying you are going to buy a car verses actually buying the car and having to pay for it each month. So practically speaking, make a commitment, make a plan, write it down and put it where you can see it and someone else can hold you accountable. There is an old adage that says, “fail to plan, plan to fail”. Don’t let that be you!
To help you along the way, don’t forget to attach a goal or two to that new commitment. When crafting a goal for yourself ensure that each goal meets a few basic criteria. Every goal you set should be realistic, specific and measureable and time constrained. Let’s expound on this a little more. 1). Realistic – As a 36 year old man/woman, slightly overweight and overburdened, a goal of being an Olympic 400m sprinter is probably out of reach at this point. Don’t set yourself up for failure, but give yourself small incremental milestones to achieve that are reasonable and attainable. 2). Specific and Measurable – In keeping with the same scenario, a goal of “I want to run the 400m faster” isn’t specific. Instead say “I want to run the 400m in one minute and fifteen seconds”. We need to be able to measure and observe our progress to assess if what we are doing is working. Setting a specific measurable component will allow you to do just that. 3). Time Constrained – set a deadline to achieve your goal (keep in mind #1 & #2) that will allow you to stay focused in working towards your goal. Applying a time constraint is a means to keep you accountable in your pursuits. Just saying “I want to run the 400m in one minute and fifteen seconds” leaves lots of room for you to get distracted and out of focus. A well formulated goal in this scenario would be “I want to run the 400m in one minute and fifteen seconds by March 31st”. It is realistic, specific and measurable and time constrained.
You can apply these concepts to any area of your life and effect any change that you desire to see in yourself. This doesn’t just apply to fitness, but to anything you want to be better at. Whether it is being a better parent or spouse, being a better friend, being more charitable, being more generous or being stronger, faster and lighter; you can be that change by setting yourself up for success. So as the New Year approaches, make a commitment, set a goal and make a plan for success!
– Coach Joey
1-1-1-1 @ 90% +
12 – Sumo Deadlift High Pull (95/65)
30 – Double Unders