Friday, January 10, 2014

The Resolutionist

January 1st
It is that time of year again. The gym is packed to the gills and unfortunately as history dictates, within the next few weeks it will be back to normal, EMPTY! Every year it's the same thing. Gym gets packed, I get annoyed, gym empties out and all is well again. This year I began thinking a bit more about this. Why does this bother me so much? Am I such an a-hole that I simply want all these people to go away so I can have my space without interruption? I am sure there are many who say yes, but I say I actually give a shit. I watch all these people come into the gym with great intentions, huge goals and fire in their hearts, only to run out of steam before the first month or even week is over. It's aggravating because I wish everyone would succeed and I know they can. So why don't they?
February 1st
There are variations on the definition of resolution but what applies in my mind is:

a decision or determination; a resolveto make a firm resolution todo something.

the act determining upon an action or course of action, method,procedure, etc.

I do not consider myself a linguist by any stretch but as I see it, here is the problem. A resolution is an act, only to the extent that it is a decision you make. Therefore, the moment you make that decision, its gone. The decision that is. We all still need to act on that resolve, each and every day.  After about 7 years of following through on my commitments to run and raise money, here are a number of things that I believe can help anyone fulfill their resolution. I think this can apply to all goals that require consistency and dedication over a long period of time but of course I will be more specific to exercise.

  1. Take it one day at a time. If your goal is months away you can't rush to the end. It takes time. Commit to whatever you need to do tomorrow and get up and do it. If you miss a day, don't beat yourself up. You can't get there in a day and you can't destroy the dream in a day either. Get over it and do it tomorrow.
  2. Pace yourself.  Remember, it takes time. If you try to do too much, too soon, you may injure yourself or simply burn out.
  3. Set attainable goals that will gradually build up your conditioning and maybe more importantly your confidence. As you learn more about yourself in this process including how you handle failure and success, you can start to set loftier goals.
  4. Share your goals with others. I find telling people is further motivation to succeed. You may also be surprised at the interest and support you will receive from your family, friends and co-workers.
  5. Ask questions. If you don't know what you are doing ask someone. If you don't know how to use a machine ask someone. If you need help coming up with a program ask. You can pay for this advise or simply ask others who are at the gym or who you know run, workout, etc. I have found over the years particularly in the endurance community that most are very willing, even eager to share ideas and experiences to help others.
  6. Read! There is so much material out there on whatever your interests are that can help you design your path and get through it safely and successfully.
  7. Do it for a cause. There is no greater incentive than doing something you enjoy while helping others. There is no greater reward than when someone says thank you. Find a charity that is meaningful to you, then find an event you have never done before and do it for the benefit of that charity in recognition of someone.
  8. Have fun! Although it takes work, it should not always feel like work. Find ways to make it fun. Change it up. Different locations, routines, people etc.
  9. Most importantly always remember, YOU CAN DO IT, just stick with it.
Don't let history dictate you. Get up tomorrow and dictate your new history.

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