Some people poop all over New Year’s resolutions.
(also say “people poop” out loud five times in a row you’re welcome)
Call me your annoying optimist friend, but I actually think there’s value in using the calendar to leverage a psychological kickstart.
But I get it; there’s a valid reason why “resolutions” receive a steaming pile of poop from naysayers. Too often, they’re synonymous with people running on the proverbial hamster wheel.
Each January, many would-be fitness enthusiasts, fresh from a season of overindulgence, make bold plans for this coming year. They buy new sneakers. They sign up for gym memberships. They go grocery shopping for veggies.
And yet… by as early as February, many have fallen off.
Their plans are dashed on the rocky shores of professional and personal demands. Their new treadmills and at-home cycling bikes begin to collect dust. Their arugula and bok choy wilt. And they stop logging into whatever apps they were so excited about in the first week of January.
So how do we avoid this?
How do you ACTUALLY stick to your New Year’s resolutions this year?
Well, you know I’m not a one-size-fits-all kinda fella. If I’ve learned anything working with nearly 10,000 people over the life of MFF, it’s that everyone is different. Furthermore, what works fabulously for a while may inexplicably stop working. And the strategy that bore fruit in one “season” of life may not jive with your lifestyle a few years down the road.
Here are a few approaches I’ve seen to work for most people most of the time.
1) Get Clear on WHY Fitness Matters To You
How will it impact your life to feel like a million bucks all day long?
How will it affect your professional life if your thinking is clearer and you’re bursting with energy throughout your day?
How would an improved mood affect your loved ones and your enjoyment of life?
How might better sleep and increased stress resilience keep you healthy?
How would your self-confidence change if followed through on your personal commitments to your own self-care?
And related… how does adopting better fitness habits express your most important personal values?
2) Find Social Support
I know, I know, I’m a broken record on this one. It’s just I’ve seen it work consistently for 10 years AND it’s a very consistent finding in the social science literature on behavior change.
You are not an island, my beloved.
We are all massively influenced by those around us. So if you’re looking to create change, you want a social environment that will positively influence you. Be mindful of relationships that won’t support your vision of a healthier life. Find and create social connections with individuals who share your values around self-care.
(Want a unicorn-y positive influence place? Welp, now you can join from anywhere in the world. Deets HERE.)
3) Invest In Your Fitness
Yup. I think you should spend money on your fitness.
Now you may (correctly) say I’m incentivized to say this. After all, this is how I feed my beloved dog Gizmo-guy. But it’s still true. People rarely value things when there’s no skin in the game.
If you want to improve your odds of sticking to your resolutions, make a real commitment to it. Based on your personal situation, the exact investment is going to vary. And I’m not saying you should go broke or rack up credit card fees. But if it’s a meaningful investment (to you), you’re way more likely to stick to it.
This is also why paid-in-advance appointment based training (like virtual classes or sessions with a trainer) creates more accountability than on-demand training options.
Show me how you spend your time and your money and I’ll show you what you actually value.
4) Try A Slow and Steady Approach
Admittedly, there are people in the world who can hit a wall and make lasting dramatic change in one fell swoop. But this is usually correlated with some life-defining event like a move, a change in relationship status, or a health scare.
For most people most of the time, slower and steadier will win the race. This is all the more important if you know you have “all-or-nothing” tendencies. Rather than try to be perfect for three weeks then totally off the rails for three months, how about starting with two servings of greens each day and two-rock-solid-consistent-no-matter-what workouts per week?
Look for consistent 1% betters over time by slowly layering in better habits.
5) Embrace Neverending Change
I have bad news. And I have good news.
The bad news is you’ll never get this “done.” Your approach to fitness can and should evolve over time. Your life will change, your professional and personal demands will change, and YOU will change. So even if you find the Absolutely Perfect Strategy, it probably won’t be perfect for the next 50 years.
But the good news is so long as you keep going, you can’t get it “wrong.” Sure, there will be periods and seasons when you are more or less dialed in. But you only fail if you throw in the towel.
I know, easier said than done. Particularly when you feel like you’ve lost all momentum.
But the more you can breathe and wear it all lightly, the more joy and faith you can find in the journey, the more success — and fun — you’ll have.
Toasting you with a dry, chilled glass of your favorite champagne cuz 2020 g-baaaaaaai,
P.S. If you’re interested in working with MFF to support you and your fitness goals, check these out these hot little babies.
NOTE: Due to overwhelming demand, the Homebody 14 Day Challenge is totally sold out until late January. We do occasionally have spots open up earlier, and you can also book a spot for a few weeks out. Click the button below to reserve your spot!
The Homebody 14 Day Challenge
12 classes for only $49 from the comfort of your home, no weights necessary.
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If you live in NYC and you’ve never done semi-privates at MFF.
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