New Year’s Day was a wonderful time for reflection and meditation. But just like that, BAM! It has quickly come and gone. And as we slide our way into February, we are attempting to achieve our fitness ambitions in the midst of waning enthusiasm.
According to Forbes magazine, about 40% of us make resolutions for the coming year. Statistics also sadly reflect that only 16% of adults over the age of 50 actually achieve their resolutions.
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When Old Habits Make an Appearance
So where do we turn when energy begins to diminish and we find ourselves falling back into old, familiar habits? Drawing from the many years I have coached athletes of all ages and abilities, a big piece of the puzzle is locked in our heads. It’s all about giving ourselves permission to fail, get up, and try again.
I say let’s make this the year we finally master and achieve our goals, ambitions and dreams. It won’t be perfect. Heck, on many days it will be downright frustrating. But with a laser focus and the right mental attitude, I have seen athletes exceed their own expectations time and again. Let’s have a look at some tactics we can all employ as we stand together and fight to overcome the statistics.
Believe in Yourself
Believe in yourself. Yes, you can, achieve your goals and ambitions, despite the naysayers, failures, setbacks, frustrations, defeats and difficulties. Remember, we are all three feet from our goals; we just need to keep digging.
Identify What’s Not Working
Face what is not working in your life. Be honest with yourself and know that you have the power to change and improve. Realize there is a good reason that each year one of the top three New Year’s resolutions is health and fitness.
Most of us are terrible at completing and seeing things through. If that hit a raw nerve, good, now we are getting somewhere. Plan your execution and finally be prepared to see it through; acknowledge it and know you can develop a plan that will lead you down the road to success
Chunk it Down
Chunk it down; take baby steps. Whatever you are working on improving stay away from being too aggressive. I recall one of my athletes proclaiming: “I will never eat chocolate ever again.” I said to her in a kidding manner, let me know how that goes.
Embrace the Three P’s
Dr. Stephen Covey, in his foundational book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, refers to the necessity to embrace the three P’s: patience, persistence and practice. All three will be necessary.
Start a Journal
Record the journey. Jot down the wins and losses. I am an avid journal-keeper. And in my experience, journaling helps to collect your thoughts, align your intentions, while having the ability to brain dump. You can then go back and reflect on the prior day to prepare to act accordingly for the next day.
At the end of the day, keeping our fitness ambitions on track requires self-discipline. There will be days where we simply throw all good intentions out the window. But I guarantee that with these actions, there will be more good days than bad.
And when we get to the end of the year, we will tick off some pretty cool accomplishments from our bucket lists. Now just give yourself the permission – and grace – to go get them!