Happy New Year, everyone! Welcome to another new installment of yourself. Welcome to another year with hosts of challenges, temptations, goals that will stick, goals that will fail, and an entirely fresh start that will hopefully bring a new found love of yourself and life! As the Earth’s solar rotation begins it’s epic revolution once again, so do we have the chance to once again pick up where we left off OR push out a little and change our paths to something new and exciting. It’s so fitting that this time of year brings a litany of new diets, exercise plans, and get rich quick schemes to “help” those looking to turn the next page. Even Billy Mays would be tempted to pick up the phone and call. Through all this, however, I figured now would be a good time to step in and hopefully add some food for thought and help anyone out there having doubts on themselves already. Maybe together we can set the distractions aside and close in on some healthy goals that will hold up throughout the new year and lead us to a #NewUS.
A carb is a carb is a carb and a goal is a goal is a goal, right? WRONG! Not all carbs are created equal, and not all goals are created equal either. As you approach each new week there’s going to be a million different diets and workout plans thrown your way through social media, TV adds, and even friends/ co-workers. Some of these “Holy Grail” diets may be worth your time and some may even bring you quick results. How does one choose the right fitness plan for themselves? Therein lies the challenge, and it’s much more simple than me just telling you in a robot voice, “Keto: GOOD, Carb: BAD. Eat. More. Protein.”
As you know, every fitness plan is different. But it’s not a matter of which one works necessarily, it’s about which one is right for you. It’s about which one are YOU going to stick to. Which plan offers YOU the best chance for success, not the person endorsing it. Which plan is the safest and healthiest to address any medical or dietary conditions for YOU. All these factors need to be considered and I’m not going to lie, you will need to do your homework to see which will fit in your life. There are some key points to be on the lookout for. If a fitness plan is promising you “chiseled abs”, or a “shredded bod”, or “pack on 20 lbs of muscle” in some sort of insane amount of time like 21, or 30, or even 60 days, and you haven’t even entered a gym since P.E. back in high school, or your idea of eating “healthy” is ordering a fiesta salad from Taco Bell. Please, lets just stop right here and put some reality back into our perspective. Picking one of those alluring plans because of the sexy pinup pictures they use to advertise is not setting yourself up for success. We’re looking for goals to KEEP not fantasies of other peoples lives. You have to honestly look at yourself and say, “Can I realistically achieve this goal in the allotted time they promise?” Beyond that you need to ask yourself, “Can I stick to this plan if it’s as intense as it appears to be?” If you answer no to either of those questions THAT’S OK! There is no pressure to look like a sports model over night. Fat takes time to burn, and muscle takes even more time to build. Instead of being fooled by these tempting marketing and sales pitches, look for fitness plans with a group or individual that you can meet with in person, or through online web meetings. Look for someone whose worked with others sharing your particular medical conditions or dietary needs before if applicable. Does this trainer or coach seem like an ethical person in general? It seems silly or maybe too picky, but I believe you want to surround yourself with like minded individuals to align your goals or ambitions in the right direction. Someone with similar values doesn’t guarantee you “SHREDDED ABS”, however it does bring you closer to an individual who will put honesty and integrity first when assisting in the growth of the new you. Keep these thoughts in mind when searching for your new goals.
While we’re talking about the right fitness plan for you, here are some points to remember that may help you along your journey. Consistency is the name of the game. I know you know, and I know you know that I know you know… Regardless, you have to be consistent. None of these plans, goals or ideas will ever work if you don’t show up. It doesn’t matter if your goal is to be shredded in 30 days, or the often pursued “Tone Zone”. If you don’t try, if you stop in a week, if you jump from goal to goal, then of course progress will be slowed if any exists at all. And most people end up blaming the plan or goal itself! This is a new year people, and we have to start taking accountability for ourselves! No one else will hold you accountable, cause frankly they just don’t care about your goals or your dreams. There’s no time to. It’s harsh, and I’ve said it before, the one thing this world/upcoming generation lacks these days is good ol’ fashioned accountability. I tell my friends and clients all the time, “Half the battle is getting through those doors” as I point at the gym entrance. But it’s so true and simple. If you can’t show up then change will never come. Push yourself and make the effort and you may end up surprising yourself along the way as well. As stated earlier, we need to be looking for attainable goals as well. Goals that have checkpoints in the middle to monitor progress and keep motivation high. For example, if your goal is to lose 10 lbs in a month, you better believe stepping on that scale two weeks from now is going to help. On the flip side of that I’m not endorsing using scale numbers to justify progress or that a number is the only way to satisfy a fitness goal, cause trust me it’s not. People spend their lives shaming themselves on the numbers of scale and miss the big picture entirely. But setting up check-ins with our selves to keep motivation high and holding ourselves accountable are a necessary tool for long term goals. Also notice how I said long term goals. I also think it’s wise to set up long term goals for people who have consistency issues. I think setting the bar too low and hitting rather than setting the bar too high and missing is just as bad as not even trying at all. If your goal is to lose 10 lbs in 10 months then let’s be real guys, we might as well find a different goal. Goals are meant to challenge you and inspire you to want more for yourself. Fitness goals are especially marathon time frames not necessarily sprints. Everyone is always racing to the finish line as if looking/feeling good has an expiration date. Your personal health and satisfaction are not ticking time bombs and require tact and attention to detail to be honed correctly. It’s easy to think small gains are no gains in the grand scheme but you have to trust the process. My growth in bodybuilding alone has only just recently shown me the gains I’ve been working years to see. Just stay focused and diligent but no matter what, fall forward.
The last piece of this puzzle is bridging the connection between a fitness example to making long term life goals. Fitness is a brilliant analogy to the ebb and flow of life. At times you can work harder than anyone else and see little to no results. Sometimes you’re on top of the world and seeing all the fruits of your labor blossom. And in the midst of all the ups and downs, progress and nulls, there’s a long, hard road ahead. There’s reward for the dedicated and there’s no room for the weak. Think if you gave up after the first week of your new fitness plan when you’re sooooo sore and your fridge is filled with kale and ground turkey. It’s a depressing thought and an overwhelmingly shameful reality you’d be choosing to live in. Okay, I know that last one was a little harsh, but I think most aren’t blind to the fact that I’m a bit blunt and I’m also a realist. But realist or not, I still have a lot of compassion for anyone that feels small or weak, lost in a sea of doubt, or anyone feeling like the cards have been stacked against them from the start. Believe me, I know those feelings all too well, and I will forever be the one rooting for the underdog and an advocate for the scared. It’s because of these all too familiar feelings that I share these testimonials as a lifeline for anyone who needs someone in their corner to get them moving. But I can’t move you through these challenges for you, nor can I shield you from the pain or failures. Those have to be your calluses to wear and your hardships to bare. Now, think if your goal was to ask that girl/guy of your dreams out on a date finally. What if your goal is to apply and interview for that amazing new career, and all you have to do is update your resume and practice some mock interviews. What if your goal was to recover from an accident and walk again, just so you could dance with your daughter on her wedding day? Would you quit? Would stop when it gets tough? I doubt it… Fear and Failure are some beautifully agonizing concepts. They will separate you from the ordinary and they will push you to grow and evolve. If they don’t, well… I think we all know what happens then. But you’re not going to let that be you… Right?
How about this? Let’s make it our GOAL to take 2018 for ourselves, and help anyone else that needs a priority makeover as well. See you soon, fam.