What makes a New Year exciting…well mainly two things, the word ‘New’ and the word ‘Year’. If broken down the word ‘New’ (for most people) conjures lots of positive thoughts of new beginnings, new toys, new clothes, new houses or a new job, all of these things are exciting times for most. Something that is ‘New’ is fresh, clean, relatively unknown in many ways and comes with exciting prospects. A ‘Year’ is a time frame, a time frame of some generosity if you consider it as a period of time for you to hit some targets, but when it comes to reaching a ‘New you’ as many like to say, a year may not be as long as it first seemed. So a ‘New’ ‘Year’ may be a big opportunity to make some changes, day 1 of 365 is a perfect place to start making some amendments, but the key is to remember that your targets (or New Years resolutions) have to be realistic and achievable, and don’t have to happen all at once!
Let’s make some universal resolutions that for me, act like the bread and butter of self- improvement, that in my opinion are THE main changes/improvements you can make this 2014!
Resolution #1 – Keep a journal
It doesn’t have to be extensive, but keeping a note of what you do/did or what you’re feeling/felt during the day can help you to reflect and make improvements. Even if your journal starts off as a Diet and training journal that documents what you need to buy from the supermarket, when you need to get it, and how and when it needs to be prepped will help in all manner of ways. Considering your training split or regime is also key to getting the nutrition right, but also to structuring your day and economising your time. Imagine being James Bond for a day, the man (although being a fictional character) was the epitome of efficiency…the opposite sex LOVE efficiency.
Resolution #2 – Help a stranger
Paying it forward is something we should all try to do a bit more of, no doubt at some time somebody helped you out, let you go at a junction, or held a door open for you? Common decency IS still alive and you’d do well to remember that, there is (without doubt) more decent people than bad in this world. We are taught to avoid strangers as children, granted it might not be advisable to freely enter a persons house on open invitation but there is nothing stopping us picking up a pound someone dropped and giving it back, or passing the tricep ropes to a fellow gym goer. The gesture will make the other person feel good, and the self gratification it brings is also good for your spirit, heck, doing something nice for someone is, well… just down right nice!
Resolution #3 – Drop the bravado!
There is nothing more attractive to either gender than a person who is comfortable in their skin and not trying to be something they’re not. No one is better at being you, than you, so for 2014 try to stay true to yourself in all walks of life whether it means dressing as you would like or speaking in a manner that is natural to you. People will respect you more (in my experience) for being yourself, an act will eventually show itself and people won’t thank you for it. Should you care what people think of you…no, only you have to look at yourself in the mirror every morning, but I think you’ll agree it’ll be a whole lot nicer to have a REAL you looking back.
Resolution #4 - DO NOT resent yourself for making a mistake
Cliché as it might sound…you are only human! The fact is that people beat themselves up far too much, especially in the fitness and nutrition industry. The year 2014 and the ‘new you’ you’re pursuing is not something that will happen overnight, and probably not just in 2014, give yourself time. Expecting to make all of the changes you want in the first few weeks/ months of 2014 is not only unrealistic, but deleterious to the overall goal. Setting unrealistic goals increases the likelihood of failure and therefore increases the risk of quitting.
Resolution #5 – NEVER QUIT!
You’ve heard it on the movies, you’ve seen it on the telly, your parents, gym/sport coaches and buddies tell you it…but all of us do it from time to time any way! Physician heal thy self comes to mind here, in other words we are all great at telling someone else not to quit, but all too often piss poor at remembering it when the going gets tough. Resolution #4 lead perfectly onto #5 in the sense that quitting almost always stems from a form of failure, but true failure only happens when you quit! Keep that end goal, and why you started in mind when you contemplate quitting. I want to clarify what quitting is…in my opinion, quitting is throwing the towel in when it gets a bit uncomfortable, when the head starts saying it has had enough, and when the easier option (and not necessarily the only option) is to stop. Quitting IS NOT when you have to stop exercising because of a genuine injury, it’s not when you end a relationship because it becomes vexatious to both parties (especially when children are involved), and it’s not when you stop at 10 reps because you may decapitate yourself should you try to lower the bar again for a final rep on the bench press (get a spotter if this is the case).
Go into 2014 with a goal, desire and a plan, apply yourself to it best you can and DO NOT expect to be the end product come the end of 2014. Success is not a linear journey, you’ll find you zig zag your way there, there will be peaks and troughs in the pursuit of personal success and ‘success’ itself may manifest itself in ways you may not notice right away. Be patient, but more importantly work hard and have a Happy New Year!