So, You Made a New Years Resolution to Get in Shape…

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According to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, around 45 percent of Americans will be making a New Years Resolution tonight.

Of those, a whopping 38% of them are weight related – easily making losing weight the number one most made resolution for 2015.

It’s a noble resolution. Taking control of your health is important, and deciding to exercise more or making better food choices is never a bad thing. That being said, resolutions probably aren’t the best way to go about it. Indeed, 52 percent of us are confident that we will stick to our resolutions and be successful. In reality, the percentage that actually does achieve their new years goal is a very sad 8 percent. In fact, most resolutions are forgotten about within 10 days. Let that sink in for a moment.

Why New Years Resolutions Often Fail

Then number one reason why people fail their new years resolutions is because they don’t set an attainable goal. Despite what modern rheotoric tries to tell you, you will be the same person on January 1st, 2016 as you were on December 31st, 2015. There isn’t any magic that will transform you into a different person overnight.

If you’ve been stuck in a rut of bad health habits for months or even years, telling yourself that you’re going to live a wildly different lifestyle seemingly instantaneously because there is a different number on the calendar is only going to be setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. Overly ambitious goals will only drain a person’s confidence when they’re not met. This is something you want to avoid.

Instead of making a resolution to simply lose weight, make ONE specific, realistic goal – and conquer it.

For example, I want to lose 10 pounds by March 1st, or I want to cut out snacking on chocolate late at night. Put a solid, actionable plan into motion with achievable goals and be as consistent as possible with it. This is the key to weight loss success.

Remember, even with these goals, you will experience setbacks. That is perfectly ok. Failing is a part of life. Just pick yourself up and keep right on at it. So what if you don’t lose 10 pounds by March 1st; maybe you only lose 7. That’s still progress! Set a new goal and try to reach it. Whenever I feel myself feeling unmotivated or upset about a missed goal, I remind myself of these two great quotes:

 

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Thomas A. Edison

 

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts” – Winston Churchill

 

Forget about New Years Resolutions Altogether

A New Years Resolution is a little like a diet. By it’s very nature it’s temporary. The word resolution comes from the Latin word ‘resolvere’, meaning “to loosen or dissolve AGAIN”. Note the again. The word itself implies that what you’re doing is cyclical – every year – the same thing. It implies that whatever it is that you’re doing is going to be temporary and in need of renewal. The same thing can be said for diets. Diets are not permanent because they are temporary in nature. You cannot sustain a diet on an ongoing basis because it’s simply not feasible to go in such a reduced calorie state for very long.

Instead, what you must do is make small, permanent changes to your lifestyle. Forget dieting, concentrate on eating healthier – whether that means choosing to cut our sugary breakfast cereal once and for all, or adding a couple servings of vegetables at dinner time. Don’t make a resolution. Don’t go on a diet. Make a lifestyle change – one that you can keep up forever and becomes a habit.

Start small. As you start accumulating small successes, make a new goal to improve your lifestyle. Commit to constant improvement. This is the only way you will change your health for good.

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Arm Yourself with Information

You know what you want to do, whether that’s to lose weight, gain muscle, or simply become healthier and happier. If you have no idea where to start, you’ve found yourself in a good place if you’re reading this. There’s a wealth of information on this website for those of you wanting a new start to 2015.

Still, it can be confusing knowing where to start wading through it all. So, I’ll make it easy for you. In order to get into shape, you need to think about three things. We’ll call it the Trifecta. They are: nutrition, cardiovascular exercise, and, and weightlifting. It’s very important that you don’t leave any one of these things out of your weight loss routine, as you’ll find that together, the three of these things work synergistically, giving you results many times greater than the sum of their parts. If you leave one of them out, you results will suffer in a massive way.

Nutrition

If you want to lose weight and get into shape, what you do in the kitchen is far more important than anything you can do in a gym. I’ll go so far as to say that if you’re not paying attention to your diet at all, then you probably won’t see any meaningful or lasting results in the gym. Control your calories, first and foremost. This is a must read: http://www.outlawfitnesshq.com/how-many-calories-should-i-eat/ That article will tell you exactly how much food to eat per day in order to lose weight. It won’t leave you with any room for error. Bookmark it so you can return to it regularly.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Whether it be marathon cardio, HIIT, Tabata, cycling, swimming, or a combination of many things, you’ve got to do some form of cardio. Fat isn’t going to burn itself, and it’s clear if you want to lose weight in 2014 that you’ve got some extra fat to burn. The best resource I’ve found on cardio is the following website: Cardio. It gives you a 6-month step-by-step plan on what to do, how long to do it for, and how to do it.

Weightlifting

There is a lot to know here, I won’t sugar coat it. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous book on bodybuilding is over 1500 pages long, and that’s just his experience. You don’t need to worry yourself with much of that, especially if you’re a beginner, but it REALLY helps to have a specific plan here. I’d recommend Rusty Moore’s famous program if you’re just starting out. Again, it will walk you through everything you need to know, step-by-step, over 6 months. As cliché as this sounds, being armed with nutritional knowledge, and having a specific plan for both cardio and weightlifting, you’ll find yourself well on your way to getting in the best shape of your life in 2015. Remember; don’t think of these things as temporary. Make them a habit and commit to fitness for the rest of your life. Don’t get hung up on missed deadlines or small failures. Just wake up the next day and get right back at it. As always, feel free to comment or email me if you have any questions along the way. I believe in you!

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  • lyddia stanley

    I weigh about 145, and have what some would consider an hour glass shape. But the problem is that my hips are thicker than my thighs. How would I reduce the fat in that area?