4 Things to Do Instead of Resolutions
I'm jumping on the 2015 ship early. As soon as Christmas is over, the blog and editorial world will be flooding your Twitter and Facebook feeds of things that revolve around "__insert #__ Resolutions to Make in 2015," "Make 2015 Your Year," and my favorite, "New Year, New You."
I hate those taglines. Scratch that, I don't like to say hate- I very strongly disagree with these perspectives.
Why is that, you may ask? After all, I am the positivity girl and like to encourage the "can-do" attitude with all of you guys. But Trainer Minna is a realist- a cheerleader realist, but still, realist.
Listen, I totally understand the hope and promise of beginnings that a New Year can hold. That is a wonderful thing- I myself am very much looking forward to saying goodbye to 2014, aka the year that a hip ruled much of my life.
BUT. We should remember that fresh seeds are always still planted in the same soil and earth that grew the old flowers. Our lives are very much like journals- we always add to it, turning pages, but we only truly get one journal in this life. We can't throw away the first journal and pretend it doesn't exist because we might have written some chapters that we don't love. We simply must turn the pages and focus on how we'd like to write the next chapter of our story.
So, for this Training Tuesday, I'd like to share 4 things below that I am doing for myself and that I implement with my clients throughout the year.
This is my challenge to you to kick things off for 2015- and why not start a little early? The world doesn't wait to turn until 2015, so why should you?
1. Identify your PRIORITIES for 2015.
Think about what you really want. What is most important to you? Is it to finally start taking care of your body, get active, and eat more nourishing foods? Is it to advance your career? Is it to spend more time with family and friends?
Whatever your priorities are, identify them, putting them in order of importance to your life.
What you want, in the big scheme of things. Focus and hone in on it.
Let's say your priority is to establish a consistently healthy diet because your diet currently looks a lot like beer, pizza, and your definition of a salad is the lettuce on your hamburger.
Come dinnertime at a restaurant when you're faced with a choice of fried chicken or the grilled salmon, thinking of your priority will gently remind you of what is important to you not in the next five minutes, but in the next five years of your life.
Sure, the chicken might happen, and you shouldn't shame yourself into horrible guilt about it, which will likely lead to a downward spiral. The important thing is, is that you made a conscious decision about it and thought about your priority. Keep reminding yourself of it, and believe me, your game score of better decision making will skyrocket.
2. Make sure your goals are REALISTIC.
This one seems obvious, but you'd be surprised at how many lofty goals I hear all the time as a trainer, yet peoples ideas of the amount of work they're willing to dedicate to it does not match at all.
Just talking about fitness specifically, everyone seems to think think that when they have a fitness goal, it must be to look like a model or celebrity. Mark Wahlburg's abs, Jen Selter's badonk, Misty Copeland's legs. Then they say they want to work out 2-3 times a week. Reality check. In order to reduce your body composition (fat %) to the levels you're seeing on the majority of celebrities takes extreme dedication to nailing your nutrition and fitness. And a great deal of those times, it's pretty unrealistic to expect to look like Heidi Klum while juggling a full-time job, 2 kids, and only 3 hours a week to work out.
Let's be clear here- I am not at all saying you shouldn't have lofty goals for yourself. But is that what you really want? A want always implies an action to get it. Saying you'd like to look like the girl in the Nike ads everyday (those models prime for their shoots, people!) is essentially saying you want to work out 5-6 days a week and make sure you cook all your meals at home, measured out to the tee.
3. Start creating HABITS.
Habits and resolutions are similar. But they differ in the framework of the mind when it comes to tackling them.
A habit is a simple, small, realistically achievable action you implement or adopt into your routine everyday so gradually it doesn't take much effort to do at all, and it becomes second nature.
Resolutions, on the other hand, tend to usually be some large and mildly daunting goal that you've probably made several years in a row. You start off strong in January killing it in the gym and eating all these trendy superfoods, then come February and you've crawled back into the jar of Nutella and your sneakers have become your puppy's chew toy.
Habits are done in progressions like anything else. Learn how to walk before you run.
Goal is to go from couch potato to being super active? Instead of going for a run or workout that's out of your fitness level that will render you so sore the next day you won't want to move for a week, take the stairs at work or walk an extra mile everyday. The consistent person who walks a mile everyday will absolutely come out on top of the person who goes for that one Crossfit session every two weeks.
4. Don't get stuck in the PAST.
I said this on an Instagram photo I posted a week ago, and I want to state it here and expand on it.
Sometimes we get so stuck on past events or patterns that we have trouble moving forward-- thinking that what has happened in the past dictates how things will happen in your future. So many times I have to remind my clients (and myself) that today and tomorrow have never happened yet.
This is especially true of fitness and health: Just because something "worked" for you in the past, doesn't mean it will work now and just because something didn't work in the past doesn't mean it can't now. Also, if it really worked, you wouldn't be having this problem and need to change things again, would you? I've made this mistake so many times in the past where I believed that going back to old patterns that showed me a bit of the success I wanted would be the key to my success in that moment. Things may have improved slightly in the direction I wanted them to, but it never once stuck for good.
You have never been exactly this age, in this moment, in this condition before.
Don't set your mind against something before you even try it.
Remember, you are an ever learning, ever growing being.