Why New Year’s Resolutions Suck

I know a number of people that make resolutions each new year, and usually they fail to keep those resolutions.  I’m not certain when that tradition started, but it drives me nuts every year.  Specifically the number of advertisements that pop up for weight loss crap, whether it’s a cereal product or piece of exercise equipment.  I saw at least a dozen today while trying to watch football.  Each commercial proposed in some way that this can be a new you!  a fresh start!

I think the reason resolutions fail is that people believe proclaiming they are going to start on January 1st, that magically because of the date they will be successful.  And usually this means there’s no plan.  I don’t care what the resolution is, if there’s no plan, there’s rarely success.

My own struggle to work out in the morning is a perfect example of not having a good plan At first, I just told myself I’d work out in the morning.  But I didn’t change how I organized my mornings, I just set my alarm earlier.  Fail.  I didn’t plan what I was going to do specifically, I’d wait until the morning to see what I felt like doing. Fail.  Of course I know better.  Anytime in the past I had a plan I completed the goal that I set out to do. For example, having a schedule to train for a half marathon was crucial. My goal has shifted to schedule activity in every day, sometimes that means doing it in the morning but not always.  I am planning to do a race in the spring, and I am scheduling those runs in.  I have started strength training sessions with a good friend and her personal trainer (more about that soon). Those sessions are planned ahead of time on a regular basis, and it makes it easier to stick to when I know someone is expecting me there.

Resolutions suck because there’s no magic in January 1st.  It also sucks because I’ve seen people really enthusiastic at the start of the New Year, and then they are beating themselves up by end of February because they didn’t stick to that diet, exercise, not smoking, whatever.  They would be far more successful if they had made a solid plan, and if they strayed from the plan they could just pick right back up from where they strayed off. It doesn’t have to be perfection vs. failure. And the day you start is not that important.

Morning workouts, STILL a work in progress

I’m still working on working out in the morning.  So far I’m managing only two or three mornings a week.  However, I did have a cyst develop in my foot and that affected a lot of what I could do.  And then I got sick. 😦  One round of antibiotics later and I seem to be on the mend again! Although I am not a morning person, I am going to keep trying.  I can not deny that I feel AWESOME all day when I do yoga or get on my treadmill in the morning.  I feel all shiny and refreshed all day.  It also feels good when I get home from work knowing that I can make dinner and then just relax.

I’m giving up my gym membership.  The gym and classes are just not for me anymore.  I have had enough negative experiences at the gym now that I rarely feel like going.  I have received unsolicited advice, usually from people that seem to assume from my appearance that I’m new to working out, and it’s a waste of my time and energy to try to explain to them otherwise.  I have also ended up beside people that smelled like they bathed in perfume, and one guy that frequently gets on a bike near me in spin class that always smells like tuna! gross!  And now that cold and flu season is starting, there are people that go to the gym and proceed to cough all over the place.  I realize it may help some people recover faster from a cold if they go workout, but I’m a germaphobe and this just freaks me out.

Tomorrow I’m going to try a workout with a personal trainer that I know.  Working out with her in a small group with other women I know at a friend’s house.  I do enjoy the social aspect of working out with others and this arrangement will be much more comfortable than the gym.  If I enjoy it, I may make it a regular part of my week.  And I have always found the expense of trainer (a good one) is well worth it if you can afford it.  It gives me someone else to be accountable to, and the extra encouragement when I don’t think I’m progressing fast enough is always great.  But we do call her Tara the terrible, because she in no way takes it easy on us.  I’d better get to bed early, I’m gonna need the rest!