So. You made a fitness related resolution this year.
How is it going so far? Easily adapted into your schedule? Tracking progress carefully? Enjoying your new behaviors? Feeling better and more confident in your ability to smash your goals each and everyday?
Change is tough. Psychologically and physically. Making life changes are even more difficult. Making life changes to adapt to reaching a specific goal based on your resolutions, very difficult.
About a year ago Scott Scanlon of the Buffalo News wrote an article about resolutions, and in the article I mentioned that using the SMART principle is a great way to help set goals and start thinking about change. You should make goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. S.M.A.R.T. So instead of saying you want to lose 30 pounds...you should say that you want to lose 30 pounds by July for your wedding. The more precise of a goal, the more likely you are to stay motivated.
All well and good.
Except maybe you don't know how to lose the pounds in the first place. Life is hectic. Work is stressful. You have a wedding to plan for. Lots of expenses coming up so you're working even more hours at your already stressful job leaving less time to cook, prep food, eat, and workout...BUT you still want to lose 30 pounds by July...
Now just switch the variables around to fit your life story. Kids, spouse, career, stress, eating habits, health concerns, physical limitations, and medical history... Yes, you have a resolution, and now you have set a goal, but how do you account for all of the obstacles that could be a limiting factor to your success.
Take note... January 19th, 2017
I, Nick Bendixen was wrong. The SMART principle is stupid...I know why I said it and I know why I believed in it at the time. I can see where it helps. I can see how it CORRELATES to successful goal setting and helping people reach their goals. What I can't see is how it CAUSED someone to be successful. CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION.
The real answer to achieve your resolution or goals. Simplify.
Simplify whatever the problem may be, anyone who has ever successfully reached a goal at some point had to simplify the dilemma at hand and start with a simple solution, a baby step, the formation of a positive habit, the replacement of a bad habit to a good habit...something simple had to be done to start moving in the right direction. The SMART principle works, but only because someone was intelligent enough to simplify and start the process of change.
People's resolutions tend to be focused simply on the wrong thing. Don't go to the gym to lose weight. Go to the gym to learn how to move better. Move better to feel better. Feel better and then continue to do the things that made you feel better to begin with. Exercise! Then, once you've developed this healthy relationship and habit of working out you've probably already attained your goal along the way. EXCEPT it wasn't arduous and painful. You developed a healthy habit and supported it with other positive experiences to keep you motivated and accountable. You don't have to step on a scale to see results, being able to breathe and having a healthy heart is pretty awesome. You don't have to measure your body fat every week, looking better in all of your clothing is a great feeling. You know what else is great, not being in pain...teaching your body to move without compensating and managing pain is pretty great. The ability to not have to dread moving because of chronic pain is amazing when you take care of yourself. Work hard, worry less. That is a great resolution. Move better and move consistently , also great goals. I have clients that say they "just don't want to hurt." Great! We can do that, that's an important goal. We will organize thoughts, plan workouts, prioritize movements, and knock that goal out the park. Because I know that if you are pain free you will show up to workout with a clear and focused mind, if you show up you will get results, if you get results you will be even more motivated, and if you are motivated you will form habits and skills, and then you will thrive. (That same client lost 50 pounds and has now completed two(2) Tough Mudders)
The problems with resolutions are the steps that are skipped along the way. Reverse that course. Don't get frustrated while trying a new healthy behavior. Enjoy the little victories along the way...let those little victories and feelings snowball into greater things. Don't get bogged down by "progression markers" that are not linear to your healthy habits and hard work. Progress will not always be linear. Practice patience, form habits, build foundations, grow, and enjoy yourself.
I love quotes, these are the two that I have posted at the studio so far this year;
"There are two ways to do something, the correct way, and again." and,
"While intensity is scalable, every person on this planet needs to be relentlessly pursuing improvement."
neither quote is about goals or resolutions, both are better, farther reaching, and easily adapted to your everyday happenings.
Simplify your goals, accomplish more.