It’s almost that time of year again.  That time when the gym goes from empty to packed with new year’s resolutioners.

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I have nothing against new year’s resolutioners.  I think It’s great to see people have the desire to start the new year trying to get healthy and better themselves.  Unfortunately many will quit after two weeks due to their motivation fading because they don’t  see immediate results or because they get overwhelmed by lack of knowledge and experience.  Here are a few tips to help keep resolutioners on track and finally make this the year you successfully accomplish your resolution.

Don’t start too fast

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Slow and steady wins the race

Many people want to start quick out of the gate. I get it your motivation is high and you want to ride that wave we want to see instant results  from kicking our butt in the gym.  Starting out too fast is a recipe for disaster.  Starting too fast can lead to injury, burn out, and over training.  Instead ease into training and progressively overload to see results.  Maybe start off training two days a week stretching and working 2-3 exercises.  When you start to adapt to the new stress on the body than you can add in more days, exercises, reps, weight etc.  You need to set your throttle to what your body can handle.   Remember  fitness is all about building a healthy and sustainable life style, not just losing a quick 10lbs.

Letting the scale be your judge

The scale is everyone’s go to tool to track success,unfortunately it is the worst tool.  Your weight only tells you the gravitational pull on your body.  Fat, muscle, food in the stomach, liquids, etc. are all a factor in your weight.  The scale doesn’t tell us what makes up our weight.  I have had clients not lose a lbs but change the composition of their bodies and use things like the mirror test, how well their clothes fit, performance bench marks and body fat % calculators track their improvement.  All those things are better indicators than the scale.

Only focusing on the gym

You can’t outwork a bad diet.  Trust me I know from experience.  Going to the gym can’t be the only thing you do to be successful in achieving your resolutions.  It has to be 100% nutrition and 100% exercise.  When you get a hold of your nutrition it is amazing how much more energy you have, how efficiently your body works to burn calories, and how you feel happier and healthier.

Not hiring a coach

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I know think I might know it all, but I don’t (my friends and family will definitely back me up on that).   You don’t either.  Often times when I leave my realm of expertise I get myself into trouble. This is why we hire doctors to diagnose and treat injuries, mechanics to fix cars, and plumbers to fix pipes because they are experts and possess knowledge we don’t have.  These people will guide you and have the necessary tools to help solve your issue.

Fitness is no different.  Don’t just try to wing it.  Hire a professional to help you determine the best way to achieve your goal.  Fitness coaches are experts in not just working out, but motivation and at holding you accountable. Even the best people have coaches that keep them on track.  Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, has a coach to help him get faster.   Everyone needs a coach that motivates and teaches you even if it’show to lose your 10lbs of fat, and keep it off.  There is no shame in admitting you don’t know something.  It’s better to do it right than do it 10 million times the wrong way and give up.

Not doing something you enjoy

Training shouldn’t be a chore.  Find something you enjoy to get fit.  You don’t have to do the same boring body building routine everyone does in the gym.  Lift heavy if you want to.  Do a body weight boot camp.  Do rock climbing. Do Yoga.  Do HIIT or strongman training.  Do whatever will keep you engaged and coming back for more!

Only focusing on achieving your big goals

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More than JUST another brick in the wall

Achieving goals is like building a brick wall.  Yea we want the wall to just be  built, but for it to be build we must go through the process of mixing the cement, spreading the cement, lifting the brick, and placing it perfectly.  That’s a lot of work and need to feel good when we lay the brick perfectly.  Eventually all those perfectly laid bricks build a strong solid wall built to last.

We all have that one golden goal we want to accomplish.  Unfortunately  achieving goals isn’t a straight line from point A to point B.  There will be set backs, twists and turns along this journey that we can’t discouraged over.  Overcoming these set backs are what actually make us stronger, these are our bricks.

This is why I like to work back wards when I set my goals.  I come up with my big goal of what I want to accomplish, then I think about the steps it will take to achieve that and develop smaller goals based off that.  I also think about the possible hurdles I will face and include them as goals. I know we all want to accomplish big things now (trust me I feel your pain), but we need to realize that it’s the small goals that keep us on a track toward success and when it’s all said and done add up to accomplishing one pretty impressive big goal.

Being one and done

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Not a rap or Jay Z fan but when he is right, he is right

So you stuck it out and achieved your goal.  That doesn’t mean it’s time to pack up shop and high tail it out of here.  Your journey is far from over, like Jay Z said it’s “on to the next one”.    Sure give yourself time to celebrate and feel good about your success, but your job is not done and it’s time to set your sights onto something else.  Maybe you lost those 10lbs and now it’s time to maintain.  Maybe because you feel healthier and lighter you took up a new hobby and you have to train to get better at that.  Maybe you enjoy getting stronger and want to add another plate to your lifts.  There is always something else to accomplish and keep us going making health and fitness a fun and never ending journey.

There you have it.  Avoid those seven  mistakes and you will be well on your way to having a successful and healthy new year!

We would love to hear about some of the issues/tips that have prevented or helped  you achieve your new year’s resolution.   Let us know in the comments section below

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Steve is a NASM CPT and Crossfit Level 1 fitness coach who has a passion for building strength. He views strength building as the ultimate tool for weight loss, performance training, and rehab/prehab for injuries. Steve is currently studying to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. Steve provides in-home personal training as well as on-line coaching. You contact Steve at sjgsports@gmail.com with any questions or comments you might have.
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