The word going around these days is that New Year’s resolutions are bogus.
Because most of them are forgotten by February. And, why make a promise that you know you won’t keep?
But I completely disagree. January is a perfect and natural time
to take inventory on where you’ve been and how far you’ve come in the last year, and use that knowledge and experience to decide where you want to go next and the best way to move forward in the year ahead.
Of course, you can take measurements and make new goals at any time of the year. But, January is the most obvious time for a ritual like this. If one is going to make life plans and goals, January is when most people get them done.
So, why do New Years’ resolutions for diet and exercise fail for so many people?
I have some answers to that, and some secrets on how one can make diet and exercise resolutions stick for once and for all. In fact, That was the topic of my interview on e-Health Radio this month.
Listen to the Interview with E-Health Radio or Read Below.
Interview by Eric Michaels
(Do you have some new years’ resolutions on diet and exercise this year? If so, tell me what they are in the comments below.)
Eric: Why do so many people fail to change their diet and exercise even when they make it a point like a resolution for the New Year?
First of all many people fail because they don’t take it seriously! Some may say they want to get fit and healthy, because they know it’s something they should do, but it’s not necessarily something they really want to do. In order to make a resolution that really sticks, the first step is to ask yourself is “Is this something I really want – or am I just saying that I want it because it something that’s expected of me?” Because the answer to that question will determine if you’ve even got a chance at achieving it.
If it’s something that’s expected of you and you don’t really care if you do it or not then I’m going to tell you now: don’t waste any time on it. And don’t waste mental energy beating yourself up because you don’t have the motivation for it. We can never actually fully accomplish something unless we ourselves are behind the idea of getting it done.
If it turns out that getting more fit and healthy is something that you actually do want this year. Then you need to take it a step further and ask yourself why you want to achieve that goal. When you can figure out your deepest reasons for why you desire something, those reasons are going to be what ultimately motivate and drive you in the future.
I have absolutely no doubt that being fit and healthy is everyone’s deepest desire in some way. And once you realize what health and fitness really means for you, then you’ve got your motivation.
Eric: What are some of the reasons people have for getting fit or healthy?
Everyone wants to feel comfortable in their own bodies. Ultimately People want to feel good. They want to move easily. They want to feel young. Everyone wants to minimize pain. Everyone wants to be able to move freely through life accomplishing what they want to accomplish, going where they want to go, and taking on the challenges they need to take on without having to ask for help too frequently. And maybe you even want to feel a little superhuman now and then. You can only get this kind of stuff by being fit and healthy.
In addition, people want to look their best. People want to feel good in their clothes. They want to feel attractive to their spouses and other loved ones. And people want to feel confident about how they look when they’re in front other people, whether it’s at a party, on a stage or in a board room.
Those are the most basic and fundamental desires that everyone has.
And then there is the avoidance of illness and disease. Many people, once they get to 30 or 40 years of age realize they don’t want the illnesses that their parents or grandparents had. And one way to prevent many many diseases and even many of the problems that aging can bring is by healthy diet and exercise.
If you come to the conclusion that you really do want to be more healthy this year, then you need to ask yourself if you’re willing to give yourself the time and energy to invest in it. So many people want a quick fix for weight loss or for looking better or feeling better. But it doesn’t ever work that way. We can’t hack our bodies’ chemistry or natural processes, despite what some would have you think.
What we’ve forgotten in this technology age is the body is based on DNA that started hundreds of thousands of years ago. It goes by that timetable, not the one we’re used to now with next-day air and same-day shipments.
I was talking to my uncle about life last week and how people expect so much so fast these days, and he said the best thing – he said “our body isn’t like an electric engine where you just need to turn on a switch” I love that.
The body takes nature’s time to change. Not man’s time.
Another great analogy I like to use is planting a flower. When you plant a flower you do what you know you need to do to support it’s growth You put the seed in the ground. You make sure the dirt is fertile, it’s getting sunlight and watered when needed. The rest is up to nature and the natural time it takes to grow and blossom.
We need to think of our bodies in this way. We need to feed it the right foods, exercise in the right way, and then we need to have confidence that the rest will happen, as long as we’re doing our part on our side.
Eric: How fast can things change when we start a healthy diet and exercise program?
Different people see results at different times. Some people start to see weight loss or health improvements right away after they start making healthy habit changes. For others, it can be a slow process. But it’s important to remember that there really is no quick fix for changing the body, and if your body does change fast in the beginning you need to know that kind of pace doesn’t last.
The best way to ensure success is to start with small steps and stick with them until they feel like a natural part of your life and your body shows that it’s adapting. If it doesn’t seem to be working or if you plateau, then you tweak it. And to keep moving upward and onward you pick a few more steps and stick with those for a while. We have this amazing complex organism (which is our body) that needs time to adjust to the new situation that we’re giving it.
And on another, completely different level, we also have this life that we’re living and in this life we have habits that we also need to change, and changing habits in itself takes time. So we have to work on changing habits on the outside, and we have to give the inside (the body) time to adjust to the changes we are making. And then, we need to be patient and loving with ourselves through it all.
So, even though it’s obvious that we can’t change everything at once, or even in a day or a week or even a month. A lot of people don’t see it from that perspective, but that’s the perspective we need to have. Once people get real about adopting a healthier lifestyle they see that yes, there may be some big changes that happen in a month or two, but when you stick with it, the body keeps changing in wonderful and amazing ways year after year after year. And it happens at every age. My clients of 40, 50, 60, even 70 begin to see physical capabilities in their bodies that some of them never saw before (even when they were in their 20’s) because they weren’t as physically active then, or they didn’t really give their bodies the foods they needed for total health.
So, we will see changes in our body’s “own time” and if you’re new to this process you’ll need to remind yourself that there are subtle changes in our bodies that take place inside that we don’t see. I mean, our DNA even changes when we have a healthy diet and exercise regularly. I always tell my clients to be patient, and realize that if you’re taking the right steps and doing the right things the body is no-doubt changing even when you can’t see it. Just like that flower – you can’t see what happens beneath the ground when you plant a flower, you only see what happens once it breaks through the surface.
Eric: Do you coach your clients like this?
Yes. I have a concierge personal training business where my trainers and I work with clients one-on-one, both in person (at the location of their choice) and online via live video conferencing. We take clients from where they are, to the next level and to the next level in strategic ways. We help people reach for their goals while we keep them grounded in reality. You can find more about that at LuciFit.com
I also have a small group coaching course online where people join me and peers, every day for eight weeks, to make some serious changes to their diet and exercise habits in a short amount of time. That’s at MindBodyBlast.com . In this course I lead students step by step through a number of small changes so that by the end of 8 weeks they see some big differences in their bodies and their habits. It’s 8 weeks because this is the amount of time I think most people can sustain a consistent, hard push forward.
As I mentioned, we can’t expect to accomplish everything and reach all of our goals in one month or even two months. Yet, even though one big push is never all that’s required to make big life changes, it sure can give you a serious boost towards your goals.
And then by the way- as the body changes we need to learn what it needs next in order to get it to the next level. Because what we need regarding food and exercise, and what might feel good as an unfit individual is much different than what our body will be needing and asking for as we get stronger and move more. Even what feels good takes on a new meaning. There’s a huge benefit to having a coach and a peer group to support you even after you’ve made that first hurdle, crossed that first goal off your list. There will most likely be a series of more goals to come, and life adjustments are needed to maintain your body, or move it forward in it’s new state of being.
So after my 8 week intensive is over, I have a graduate membership where people can stay part of the group and get my support in maintaining their new habits and also move forward from there.
My next group intensive is starting soon if people want to take a look at it, it’s at MindBodyBlast.com
My blog subscribers are the first to know when I’m offering discounts to this program – and most people take the course at a discounted rate because of that. Subscribers get weekly tips on eating healthy even if you’re busy, and exercising in a safe, efficient way so you can exercise for the long term. So even if you aren’t looking to work with me, you can still get my message to your inbox on a weekly basis if it’s something that resonates with you. You can subscribe at LuciFit.com/blog
Eric: Do you have any suggestions for people who are feeling impatient or anxious about whether not they’ll achieve their goals?
What I say to people is don’t obsess about things or overthink them. Know the foods that are good for you and where to get them, and when it is time to eat choose the right foods. Then forget about food and go on with your day. Put exercise in your calendar. When the alarm on your calendar goes off for exercise, go and exercise. Just do the right thing when the time comes and then get on with your life. Have confidence and know that if you choose eating right and exercise more frequently than you choose not eating right and not exercising the scales will tip in your favor and these individual choices will show up as results in your body and your life over time. Just take it day by day and step-by-step.