New year, New decade, New you?

By Darren Floro-Bryant

Crossfit guy doing abdomen exercise on the floor. Man doing crossfit workout using a medicine ball at the gym.

It’s that time of year when everyone decides whether or not to establish resolutions. A lot of times, losing weight, getting fit, or getting more active are popular resolutions. These are great, but what do they mean, and how can you stick with them?

With any of these popular New Year’s resolutions, everyone has a mental image about how they want to look, but don’t know how or if they can achieve it. We look at magazines, movies, and athletes and compare ourselves to the people in these roles and make ourselves feel bad if we don’t look like a marketed ideal.

We all have good intentions when we set these resolutions, and the end goal is always a desirable result. It’s the steps involved to get to that result that are sometimes numerous and difficult.

But this year is different. It’s the end of a decade. It’s the start of 2020! And as the cliché says, hindsight is 20/20. So, this is the year to take what we’ve learned or what we’ve always wanted to do and put it into practice.

First and foremost, you need to be realistic and stay positive, even when the work is daunting, or the results are not as fast as you would like. While, in many cases, we live in a world of immediate gratification, not all goals work that way.

Start small. Take that long-term goal and break it down into a series of smaller, more achievable benchmarks to help keep you on track and motivated. For example, instead of saying you want to lose weight, give yourself a date that you would like to lose 2 pounds by. Sit with a nutritionist or a dietician and make substitutes to your eating habits that won’t cause you stress or anxiety by changing your entire eating pattern. Once you have done this, set another similar incremental goal that allows you to make positive changes, setting you on the path that will help you achieve the image you have envisioned in your mind. This same concept can be applied to any of the resolutions stated above or that you have set out for yourself. For example, when clients come to me with new goals, this is the process I use to help them achieve their goals.

Remember that some resolutions are hard to stick to because they are usually announced to friends and family. This puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on you because if you don’t achieve this resolution, you may look like a failure. To help avoid the external pressures, sometimes keeping these resolutions to yourself is a great way to make the changes at your own pace. You are in charge of you.

Alternately, seeking help from friends or family or enlisting the help of professionals can increase your potential for success. They will use their experience and knowledge to help you break down your goal to help keep you motivated and positive. They will use their expertise to give you tips, tools, advice, and methods that keep you moving towards your goal. Most times, this information can be utilized to help you maintain your results and assist you in setting new goals. As a personal trainer, this is where I tailor my tips to your specific goals. Remember, you are the one doing the work, but asking for help or support can help you achieve your personal goals.

No matter what your resolution is, always account for some setbacks. Sometimes on your journey to the ultimate goal, there will be times when things don’t go your way, or the results are not what you were after. This is the perfect opportunity to reassess your path and make some changes; just don’t give up. Also, don’t compare your results to another individual on a journey to a similar goal. Every one of us is different, and each of us responds differently to the methods that are presented to us. It is important to remind yourself that your goal is individual to you. Your resolution is set on your timeline, not someone else’s.

Just as your resolution is personal to you, how you approach it should be just as personal and individualized. Do what works for you and be accountable to you.

Darren Floro-Bryant is originally from Ontario, Canada, but now lives and works in Atlanta, GA.  Darren has worked as a certified Group Fitness Instructor, Fitness Coach, and Personal Trainer for more than 25 Years.  Currently he owns DFB Fitness and Foundation Fitness. /

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