Coach’s Corner: Looking Ahead to the New Year

New Year’s Resolution season is almost upon us! And as your coach, I want to spend the next few weeks leading up to New Year’s Day addressing how to strategically approach your resolutions and set yourself up for success.

Every December, we look forward to the clean slate a brand new year provides, and we set goals to improve ourselves—whether it’s to stop smoking, save more money, eat healthier, or lose weight. The prospect of achieving our goals and reinventing ourselves is highly motivating from an emotional standpoint, and we often go all-in with excitement, believing that the only two options we have are 1.) all, or 2.) nothing.

While I applaud the self-awareness and recognition it takes to want to change bad habits into better ones, it takes much more than sheer desire and enthusiasm to actually realize success. It requires smart planning, realistic expectations, and being adaptable—but it also requires digging deep and identifying why a particular goal feels necessary. Why do you believe life will be better if you achieve [this particular goal]?

As a fitness trainer, the goals I encounter obviously relate to weight loss, and most will cite “better health” or “be in better shape” as the reasons why they want to lose X number of pounds, but as my clients open up and get really honest, they speak of six-packs and getting “toned” (which is usually code for “skinny”). I have my work cut out for me as a kickboxing instructor because the image association of what a kickboxer looks like includes a chiseled and glistening set of washboard abdominals (which, truthfully, isn’t an indicator of superior health at all but is standard imagery used to market “fitness” and creates body image issues across men and women alike…but that is a whole conversation for another time). If one of my clients states that this or something similar is their goal, I have to burst the bubble and ask: how does that improve your life as a whole? Do all of your problems melt away when you have a smaller waist? Is getting lean by any means necessary the solution to all of your problems?

What I’m getting at is, if you’re resolving to do something with the intention of evolving for the better and to become healthier, and you want those changes to stick around for the long term, it requires a certain mindset—where the values at the core of your goals go beyond skin deep. Ask yourself, “why do I want that?” And, “how will that make me a healthier and happier person?” Instead of fixating on appearance, think about what it is you want to be able to do. Those are the goals worth the work and those are the goals with meaningful and lasting results.

Today, it was about the “why.” Next week, let’s talk about how we can implement our New Year’s Resolutions so they last past February. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is possible, and I’m here to help!