We all make them. We all break them. It’s like there’s a societal pressure to make resolutions every January, only to stop mid-February and feel like a complete failure. Gyms thrive on this time of year; hundreds of new memberships sold, a large percentage of which will go unused within a few months. Countless healthy cookbooks bought, new workout equipment, self-help gimmicks that are going to change lives! I’m not saying some don’t stick with it and we should celebrate those who do, but there’s a definite noticeable difference in the gym parking lot come March.
What if you didn’t NEED to resolve to do better each New Year because you always strive to do your best regardless, and if you slip, you’re ok with it? A novel idea, but one that everyone should adopt.
Here are my 4 ways to stop the madness and be your best all year:
Stop pressuring yourself!
You’re not perfect, no one is! Stop trying to attain a level of fitness, healthy eating or mental clarity that you’re not ready for. Stop comparing yourself to others. You are your own independent person and you should act that way. Unfortunately in this day and age, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay our own course and feel like we are doing OUR best. Stand strong and know that as long as you are doing what is best for YOU and for YOUR family, that’s all that should matter. Do not let other people’s opinions influence your daily life. Only YOU have the power to let anyone make you feel a certain way.
DO NOT buy a Gym Membership in January!
At any time of the year that you feel you should step up your workout game, do it then! Don’t wait until the New Year. January is the time that you can’t find a parking spot, classes are packed and personal trainers are hunting for new clients. If you want to join a gym, do it at a time where not everyone has the exact same idea. This way if you want to try classes, they are of a reasonable size so you can ask for help and you have access to most equipment without waiting. That being said, it is not wrong to join a gym in January if that is when you feel inclined to do so. But remember to start slow, ask for help when you need it and do what you enjoy.
If you fall, dust yourself off and get back up!
You only fail when you stop trying. Working out and eating healthy is HARD! Saying you’re only going to eat kale salad and boiled chicken everyday is a recipe for disaster. Sure, that can absolutely be a goal, but most people are going to get sick of kale salad and chicken and may indulge in something way over the top, feel horrible about themselves and decide it’s not for them. So try this: when you get to that point of hating what you’re eating, switch it up. Add in some of those indulgences but in a healthy way. Or indulge once in a while and start fresh at the next meal. Don’t beat yourself up. If you’re too tired to make it to the gym one day, listen to your body and be ok with it. Start fresh the next time, don’t fall into a trap of thinking “I can’t do it”.
Going to a gym everyday is not for everyone. But it’s also not the only way to workout. Find what works for you. Do you really have time to lug your kids to the gym daycare, do your class and get home? Find an at-home exercise program you can do while they entertain themselves, or better yet, do it with them! Does running on a treadmill bore you? Get outside! Research what you should wear when it’s cold, how you should pace yourself throughout your run etc. You want to try some new diet because everyone else says it’s amazing? Look into all aspects of any new way of eating before you try it and see if it realistically fits into your life first. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for the next. As long as you are avoiding foods that you know are harmful or do not work for you, THEN try to add in the good stuff.
The main point here is to pace yourself. Don’t jump out of the gate January 1st trying to change everything in your life all at once. That’s how people fail. Make small but impactful changes throughout the whole year. Or if January is your time to start, start small and slow. Add in the good and the bad will eventually fall to the wayside. Be yourself and enjoy your life. Like the cliche says, it’s often too short. Remember this: Be Fit. Eat Right. Think Well. Get Adjusted. Follow my 4 ways of maintaining your goals in each of these aspects and you will be just fine.