New Year’s Resolutions are BS & What To Do Instead

The origins of New Year’s Resolutions date back over 4,000 years ago when the Baboloynians brought in the new year in March, not January, when their crops were planted. It was then taken by the Romans when Julius Cesar reformatted the calendar as we know it to make January 1 the new start to the year. Named after Janus, the two faced god who inhabited doorways and arches. This brings us to our current iteration which started in 1740 by John Westley. Wherein Christians could reflect on the year’s past, read scripture and make offerings to the upcoming year. 

These days the New Year celebrations have taken on a new meaning. Where we make promises to ourselves, decide to change our ways and inevitably fall short. According to research only 9% of those who make a resolution keep it. Why is that? I believe this can be attributed to a multitude of factors. 

Consistency is king

Our lives are packed more with activity than ever before. With work schedules conflicting with kids schedules conflicting with social schedules conflicting with social media screen time conflicting with, well you get it. It’s harder than ever to prioritize one thing over another unless you’re outstandingly committed. Unfortunately, the idea of making a change is much easier than making the change itself. 

We tend to bite off more than we can chew

I used to work at a camera store. Being a photography nerd it was a great way to get my camera fix and get prints on the cheap. A gentleman came in one day and damn near bought the store out. He was taking a trip and needed absolutely everything under the sun to bring with him. Camera, bags, lenses, tripods, memory cards. You name it, he bought it. We worked somewhat off commission, so this was an exciting sale for me. I distinctly remember the man leaving and my manager saying to me “he’ll be back this week to return it”. Sure enough, later that week, he came back to return all but the camera.
The excitement of taking a once in a lifetime trip was clouding his ability to see that spending multiple thousands of dollars on camera equipment was not the best use of his resources. Those red flags pop up often in fitness as well. The person who is coming in to change everything about their life in one fell swoop usually does not succeed. This is usually due to the fact that it is just too much at once. Taking on nutrition, fitness and the mental game all at once is a recipe for failure. Start small, a goal can be as simple as having a healthy meal on Wednesdays instead of going out. Then move to Wednesdays and Thursdays and so on. 

You’re being told you’re doing something wrong

Where was all of the “time to make changes” during the rest of the year? What makes January 1 so special? The holidays are exasperating enough as it is. Just because you ate like crap over the last month does not mean you need sweeping life changes on this exact date. The date is arbitrary to your health timeline. If you start now, great! If you start in November, fantastic! The key is that you start. 

What can you do about it? A lot actually. If you’re ready now to make some changes for the better, there are plenty of paths to take. We just need to find the right one for you. 

Start small

As we talked about above, making too many changes at once is not a good road towards success. Think about your first house. Did you move in, remodel the kitchen, repaint the entire house, finish the basement and put a new deck on as soon as you moved in? Most likely not. It would have been WAY too much to take on all at once. You probably moved in, maybe painted a few rooms, in a couple months maybe redid the kitchen. A year later maybe you started on the basement. This is similar to our plans for fitness and general health. Pick one small task for the week, complete it for that week. Select a new task, complete that for a period of time. The targets can change but the goal remains the same. 

Get a coach!

None of us ever played a sport growing up where there wasn’t some sort of coach at the other end giving guidance. Somewhere along the way to adulthood we all decided we didn’t need a coach anymore. Someone on the other end of the line wondering where you are or why you didn’t log your food this week. We all need accountability and someone to show us the way. This could be the aforementioned nutritional guidance, a personal trainer setting your sessions up a week in advance and when you don’t show you’re getting a phone call or even just a group coach instructing you on proper movement of your body to deal with that hip issue you’ve had for some time now. Luckily, we can help in all of these ways. We LOVE to help you reach your goals. It is the sole reason we do what we do at Triumph. 

Bring a friend

There’s an unwritten rule that states that it’s easier and more fun to workout with a friend. The benefits are truly endless but the main reasons to find a buddy to bring along your journey are to feel more motivated when you’re working out. Be a little more adventurous, it’s just easier to do things you wouldn’t normally do when a friend is by your side. Create lasting habits, same as a coach, if your friend is expecting you to be there at the 6am class and you aren’t. Well you’ll have to answer to that friend later. 

This can be a stressful and overwhelming time for many. Fitness should be a fun part of your life, not a punishment for past meals and refreshments. When you’re ready to take the next step, we’ll be here to help. 

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