fbpx

New Year’s Resolutions – How to Make it Beyond the First Month

New Year's Resolutions - How to Make it Beyond the First Month - MadLab Performance Blog
MadLab Performance Personal Trainer
by: Jack Flowers – Professional Coach at MadLab Performance

If you’re looking to improve upon your fitness this new year, whether just beginning your fitness journey or picking up where you left off, kudos!
You’re taking a tremendous step forward towards a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Around this time of year, many embark on fitness goals in some way, shape, or form, and nearly as many who start will not continue. Nearly 80% of New Year’s resolutions are not upheld.

I do not present those numbers to discourage anyone’s resolutions. Rather, I do so to present the reality of making positive change when it comes to your health. Unlike some other areas of opportunity, fitness has no “get rich quick schemes.”

If you truly seek to get the most out of your New Year’s Resolution, my best advice is to tamper your expectations, and embrace the journey.

Sounds like a bit of a bummer, right?


My mother taught me to shoot for the stars too – why shouldn’t we take that approach when starting out on a fitness journey? The answer is that we absolutely should, however it is most important to understand the long, grueling journey ahead that is the path toward improved physical fitness and overall health. I feel this key aspect, the overall time it will take, is often overlooked when choosing a resolution. We begin bright eyed and bushy tailed, with dreams of before and after pictures, having made changes to x, y, and z that will supposedly lead us to the Promised Land. In some cases, these changes work wonders immediately! We see brands advertise stories of “this supplement/program helped me lose Xlbs in Xweeks!” This does happen, but most certainly not to the majority of the population. Many individuals are able to achieve progress as they begin their new lifestyle, but after some progress and an initial infatuation phase, motivation wears off, progress slows, and the wheels start to fall off the wagon in a downward spiral of discouragement.

Avoiding this discouragement is critical in staying consistent, one of if not the most important principle in achieving significant change over time in this area.
Speaking from experience, I’ve had wheels fall off at a number of different points
throughout a number of different (unsuccessful) fitness resolutions.
If I could rewind, the first thing I’d do is alter my mindset and expectations going in. It would’ve saved me plenty of mental turmoil, and I’d likely be much farther along than I am now.

To make real change this new year, embrace consistency.

In order to maintain physical health, one must continually work at it. It is very much a ‘use it or lose it’ game when it comes to our bodies. While a month in the gym is better than no time at all… expecting that month to end, having achieved your goals, without having to return to the gym ever, is simply unrealistic. If you truly seek lasting change, changes must last.

It is for that reason why I’d suggest gearing goals and expectations away from overall weight in overall time, and more toward measures of consistency. Think of small steps on the ladder as opposed to enormous jumps. Giules’ article on SMART goals is a great place to learn more.

Physical transformations are not linear whatsoever, so to expect certain results in a certain time frame may be realistic for one body, and unrealistic for another. We all are starting this New Year in entirely different places, and given our varying anatomy and lifestyle, we MUST consider this when starting up a new fitness routine.
My journey isn’t the same as yours, and yours isn’t the same as the next person’s, but we’re all on journeys – where a long period of time is a prerequisite. Do not forget this once motivation fades! If you’re having trouble figuring out exactly where your body is from a physical capability standpoint, or are just curious where to begin your fitness journey this new year, you can click here to ask one of our MadLab Professional Coaches!


MadLab Performance Logo
MadLab Performance Blog
Giules Rossi - MadLab Performance Professional Coach
by: Giules Rossi – Professional Coach at MadLab Performance

Did quarantine set your fitness goals back and you don’t know how to start again? Or do you already set goals and continuously fail to reach them? No matter how big or small your fitness goals are, be intentional in creating them. Try the SMART method to inspire you to take action and achieve the results you desire.

Consider these five elements when creating SMART goals:

Specific

Saying you want to get in shape is an excellent start, but elaborate on it. Think of the five Ws. What do you want to accomplish? Why is that goal important to you? Who is involved in the process? Where are you going to achieve that goal? What are your resources or limitations to achieving your goal?

Instead of saying “I want to get in shape”, a specific goal could be “I want to increase my squat by 30 pounds in in the next eight months by going to the gym three times a week”. Define your goal clearly in order to narrow your focus. This will make the goal easier to work toward.

Measurable

Determine a way to track your goal. Using direct measurements in your health/ fitness goals such as pounds gained/lost, weight added to an exercise, amount of reps for a particular exercise, amount of protein eaten in a day, how much sleep you get at night, etc, allows you to visualize your progress and keep you motivated. 

Attainable

While all goals should be challenging, they should be realistic for you. Saying you want to add 30 pounds to your squat in one month may not be an achievable goal. However, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t strive for it. 

Nothing is less motivating than not reaching your own standards. So, break your goals down into smaller, more attainable goals that lead toward the bigger picture.

Relevant

Consider your resources, lifestyle, current fitness level, and long-term objectives when creating goals. Think about why you want to achieve it. Will it make you healthier? Will it improve your overall quality of life? Do you want to be able to keep up with your growing grandchildren? When your intentions are meaningful, you will be more committed to achieving your goals. 

Additionally, be sure that your goals suit your lifestyle. If you made a goal of going to the gym six nights a week but you constantly work overtime and have to get home to your family, maybe that goal isn’t realistic for you. 

Time-Specific

Setting a deadline for achieving your goals helps to establish consistency in working towards them. Use time to break the goal down into smaller, more manageable pieces. These little accomplishments will compound until the larger goal is achieved by the distinct timeline. 

Always take the time to reassess your progress and adjust your goals accordingly. What’s important is that you stay motivated and keep striving for achievement. If you start to fall off the wagon, set a new goal to help you get back on. If you think you’ve taken on too much, back off a little. It is important that you work at a realistic pace in order to get results! 

The SMART method is as simple as staying consistent and holding yourself accountable. Make sure your goals are meaningful and relevant to you, and don’t compare your goals to others. It may seem like a lot at first, but once you achieve your goal it is so easy to set more!


MadLab Performance Blog
MadLab Performance Personal Trainer
by: Jack Flowers – Professional Coach at MadLab Performance

With public health at the forefront of concerns nowadays, it’s more important than ever to understand how exercise keeps us all healthy. Even under quarantine restrictions, just a little movement can go a long way!

The benefits of exercise were taught in P.E. class to nauseam, but not often anywhere else. However, recent evidence shows that “regular physical activity and/or frequent structured exercise reduces the incidence of many chronic illnesses… including communicable diseases such as viral and bacterial infections.”[1]

We’ve all heard something along those lines, but how can exercise actually lower the risk of contracting an illness?

Effectively, exercise moves fluid around in our bodies, which is responsible for flushing out any potentially unwanted guests. Our blood contains agents which “fight” against disease, specifically white blood cells. The more we circulate blood through our body, the more these agents are able to do their job in protecting our health.

If you’re looking to stack the odds in your favor when it comes to your health, start with a bit of movement! If you need any pointers, connect with the Lab for content, and always feel free to send in questions!


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5911985/