80% of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by February.
What’s the point? You psych yourself up for these life-altering changes and it inevitably ends up being too much to sustain, so you give up. It’s a cycle that’s far too common. In fact, in my gym, we keep tabs on ‘resolutioners’, the folks who crowd the gym for a month and then bail as quickly as they came in. There’s a right way and a wrong way to approach fitness in the new year and the only ‘trick’ that works is sustainability.
Human psychology suggests that we are more likely to support things that are going well. This is why you’re more willing to try to get a stain out of a brand-new t-shirt than you are some ratty one that’s been sitting in your closet for years. Naturally, we put effort into things that are working and we’re more likely to give up on things that aren’t. It’s an important biological trait that’s helped us evolve, but it can sometimes hurt when it comes to fitness goals;
If you’re grinding away at the gym 7 days a week, and you’ve drastically changed your diet, you’re going to want to see results, and quick. If results don’t show up as noticeably or as quickly as you’d like, you’re probably going to rethink your commitment to the whole diet and nutrition thing. Because it’s so easy to throw in the towel, it’s best to choose change that you can commit to, long-term.
Once you start to see the results coming through, you’ll be hooked. As many of my fellow gym rats can attest to, it’s an incredibly addictive lifestyle.
How to Get Sustainable Results?
Set Goals – But Keep Them Realistic
New Year’s resolutions are rarely goals, but rather a checklist of things to be done every day. This is a weird way to approach a goal and, frankly, it doesn’t make sense. Instead, set a tangible goal, like ‘I’d like to lose 10 pounds of fat’, ‘gain 10 pounds of muscle’, or ‘be able to do 10 pull-ups’. Once you have a goal, figure out how to get there, but be flexible in your approach. This way, if it isn’t working, you don’t have to give up on your goal, but rather the method by which you’ve chosen to achieve it.
Make a Plan
Once you have your goal in mind, make a plan and stick to it. Just because your approach can be flexible, doesn’t mean your level of commitment should be. Make a plan to achieve your objective and follow it, but be willing to adjust your approach and rethink your strategy if you’re not seeing the results you want.
Don’t Say ‘No’
Many resolutioners fail because they take a binary approach to their health and fitness. They’re all-or-nothing. These people swear off junk food entirely, and when they finally succumb to temptation, they feel like they’ve lost, and go off the rails. I’m guilty of this too. But, if you’re more forgiving with yourself, and don’t deal in absolutes, then that single cookie doesn’t have to turn into 20 and it doesn’t have to derail the progress you’ve made so far.
You wouldn’t set out on a road trip with just a final destination in mind; you need stops along the way. When you set out to go somewhere, you look around for signs that you’re headed in the right direction. You need the same checkpoints with fitness. If you want six-pack abs or to be able to bench-press two plates, you’ll want to set indicators to let you know you’re on the right track. Look for something that you’ll be able to notice and measure within 1-month increments.
Take Progress Pictures
Who doesn’t love a Transformation Tuesday? Before-and-after photos are quite powerful and can be great motivators to keep you on track, especially after a slip-up. Take photos with consistent lighting and similar conditions, at the same cadence as your checkpoints. These are a great way to tell the story the scale sometimes fails to.
Don’t CompareIt’s your journey, not theirs. Everyone’s body adapts differently to changes in diet and nutrition. Set personal benchmarks and stick to them. Though, a committed gym buddy can be a great way to keep you honest and on track.
Whatever approach you choose, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a happy and healthy 2019. This past year was a big one for us here at Suppy, and we have more great things planned for the next one. If you want some protein to help you power through the new year, pick some up here or request a sample if you’re unsure.