The problem with all these ‘resolutions’ and why they’re WORTH-LESS
Blog feeds are busier than ever before, just trail the wordpress fitness feed and it’s littered with goal orientated posts and memes. Rather than add to the traffic with my own uber-list of ambitions and aspirations, instead I’m going to pose a different approach to ‘standard’ goal setting.
Spoiling the party?
Goal setting and self expansion are the main themes of this very site, I’m always seeking means of evolution in various categories. Having spent too much a portion of my life in somewhat of a ‘static’ state, the importance of growth and travelling forward as much as possible is now a stark priority.
“A mistake is only a sin if there was nothing to be learned”
However, I’ve touched on information overload on this site previously; do it now, do everything and get it yesterday! This is the mentality that plagues modern life and modern goal setting alike.
I’ve seen some seriously whacky and lofty new years resolution lists…………….
Blog everyday, workout everyday, minimize social media use, spend more time with my spouse, do yoga everyday, read everyday, walk everyday, cut out junk, socialise more, build muscle, lose fat, get faster and stronger and learn to fly!
Spreading yourself too thin
I’ve just described a superhero, right? Find me a girl like that, I’m down on one knee right now! Imagine doing all those, and hey, don’t ever stop thinking you can fly………..but we need to start prioritising.
“He who chases two rabbits catches neither”
All of those magnificent potential additions to your life are going to demand significant segments of your attention. If you really believe you can conquer all those, allow me to invite you to try; see how long you can keep it up. That’s my challenge to you.
So how do we make sensible new year goals?
Decisions decisions decisions, searching for what we really want. Go through your mammoth list and start ticking off ones that won’t improve your life all that much compared to the others. Find the component of your life that’s really lacking, fitness is crucial, but if you don’t have a relationship with your partner anymore, perhaps it’s time to start there and plough that field.
All of this is subjective, but you can’t ‘ride two horses with only one ass‘!
As mentioned in the fantastic book, The ‘One Thing’……………achievement is all about specificity and building momentum. What’s the one thing you can do right now that will assist in achieving the big picture you have in your head? Once you establish it, essentially it’s like knocking over the first domino. Momentum builds.
Unfortunately most people nowadays just can’t accept the truth; you can only conquer so much. The masters of this world know this, the greatest artists painted everyday, the greatest writers wrote everyday and the most loved comics made at least one new joke everyday.
In my most recent post, I explained my initial focus this year: Trying once and for all to determine what grey area foods sit well with me and which ones don’t. That’s it. I’m still training, but I’ve detached myself from PR chasing (my performances haven’t deteriorated anyway) – point being, all I care about is nailing thirty days without consuming suspect foods.
I see it all the time:
“I need to pass a strength test for X or Y, but I just can’t seem to be getting strong enough?”
“How consistently are you training for strength?”
“All the time! Haven’t missed a workout at all.”
“Eating enough? How much other activity are you doing?”
“Ummm,…..well I do crossfit, power yoga and I jog everyday so I maintain my endurance………..I have great endurance ya know!”
“Got it! Have you ever considered scaling back on the extra activities for a while?”
“God no! I’ll get fat and lose my beloved endurance!”
“Trust me, your endurance won’t go anywhere, nor will you gain fat. But to see necessary improvements in strength, you need to prioritise strength. We all have limited recovery abilities and we often underestimate the expense proper training has on our bodies.”
A classic example of somebody spreading themselves woefully thin.
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you just can’t be the strongest guy or girl in the world, be a marathon winner, compete with Usain Bolt, step on stage at the Olympia, become a yoga master and major in five different subjects. All while improving your marriage, giving up all the junk you eat and becoming a vegan for life.
But you can……….work incrementally on any of those great journeys.
Want to expand your education? Enrol on a relevant course. It needn’t be advanced, start small and build from there. Patience really is a virtue, nobody seems willing to invest time into these wants and desires.
Which begs the question; do you really want it at all?
JR @ Straight-Talking-Fitness View All
The 'brains' behind StraightTalkingFitness, a site all about discovery that leads to strength in all formats; fitness, mental, emotional and spiritual. Everything starts from within and projects outwards. Master the body, master anything and everything.
To answer your question..YES! I do want it all. But realistically speaking, looking at my “new year’s resolution” goals, I probably won’t achieve them all. I would however like to achieve a few, or even just one and I’ll be happy. We’ll see what happens.
As for the whole…”new year, new me” thing, I didn’t need to wait for 2015 for that to start, I’ve been steadily working on improving my life for about 2 years now 🙂 So far so good. Yay me! ^_^
P.s Happy New Year 🙂
That’s amazing, glad to hear your progress is steady and solid 🙂 Same goes for me, I am 100% a better guy than I was this time last year. And that’s all you can ask of someone right?
Having numerous goals isn’t so bad, but I think where people come unstuck is thinking they can attack all their targets at once. As opposed to ticking off the list and realising anything worth having requires serious time investment! That’s something I’m really starting to grasp more and more as I mature 🙂
Happy new year to you too! Did you do anything nice to celebrate??
Ahh yes. Being a better person has been greatly beneficial to me. I feel so much better and have a better perspective on life now 🙂
The thing with people is, they get to the end of the year, make promises to themselves, don’t follow them through, or they do and break more than once and then give up totally and that’s it. Things take time and investment. By all means if you can go cold turkey,do it. I’m human, I know, I’m going to lose momentum at some point, but I now have the determination to know that I can fulfil anything I set my mind to.
Every day I’m learning, growing and maturing. I couldn’t be more proud of myself 🙂
Naaaah. I never bother with new years celebrations. I was home and cosy. Sat in my pj’s, drinking tea and munching on yummies while watching the fireworks on the tv. Lol.
I quite like cold turkey (not literally) haha, but going cold turkey! I think with habits and goals and discipline (three magic and powerful words lol) you have to get over what I call the summit. For instance, I used to absolutely guzzle pepsi max and diet coke like it was going out of fashion – 2 litres per day EASY!. But I’ve had no fizzy drinks at all since around July last year! I say that to people and they just can’t comprehend doing that!
Anyhow, point being, I’ve done it so long now, it is just something “I do”.
Ahhh the fireworks, to be fair, they are pretty awesome! I actually went there a few years back, boy oh boy it was an experience! It’s literally like a never ending riot! Lol.
Ha ha haaa Mr funny man, but yeah, I get what you mean. My one friend had a serious addiction to coke. She loved it. It was literally the only fizzy drink she drank. Not sure if she still drinks as much now, but yeah. I prefer juice now. Don’t really drink fizzies any more, well not in the last 5 years.
I like what you said about getting over the summit, that’s exactly what you need to do, and once you’re over it, keep going till you reach the finish line (if there is one). You’re right, once you’ve done something for so long, you don’t even notice anymore.
At the end of the day, it’s not so much about the destination, but the journey. 🙂
Can I purchase the rights to your end sentence there? Haha, and use it as a tagline? I won’t really, but that is a great line indeed!
The next thing I’m working at eliminating from my life is the mighty time vampire that is FACEBOOK! I’ve closed it down on numerous occasions and not missed it, the only thing I hate is it’s my primary means of staying in contact with many people!
Hahaha no you may not! Because I saw it on the interwebz, but you may borrow it from time to time..terms and conditions apply. Lol. I think I just switched things around and added words, but yeah, it is a pretty awesumus quote. And as for Facebook…*sigh* that’s a whole nother other topic for another day. Lol. Ugh yeah, mine too. People don’t like emailing or writing letters or anything. It must always be fb fb fb. I’ve deacivated loads of times, then I get texts and IM’S asking if I’m ok and stuff.. Lol
Oh you don’t fancy some facebook bashing no? No sense of adventure 😉 lol. Yeah I can relate to all that. Worse still, all the group chats that are often used for social events etc…..the people in there don’t even notice you’re not there when you’ve deactivated!
Yeah, screw facebook. I’ve not been on there for a while now, I’ll only use the messenger app.
Hahaha don’t get me wrong, I like fb, mainly for the addictive silly games that pass the time. But like over the years, you add so many people and meet so many too but you neeever talk to them. When it first started out, it was cool, we used to have great times in the chat rooms, but they had to be closed thanks to the idiots ruining things. And half the time it’s just drama. Laaaaame. One of the main reasons why I started a blog was to spend LESS time on fb, and to be fair, due to my coursework, I have been spending less time on there but still..eh..some days are fun, there’s bla blaa.
People always notice when I deactivate, probably because I post so much and talk soooo much nonsense on there. I hardly take fb seriously. Made some great friends on there 🙂 So it’s not all baaaaad.
Sooooooo I’m going to guess you didn’t make a reolution lol! Totally agree. One goal at a time is the way to go. 🙂
Hahaha, what gave you that idea?! I like resolutions, but I prefer to call them “habit formations” lol. I’ve just learned the hard way that we really need to know EXACTLY what we want and know we want it truly, otherwise we’ll never get it. Do you have any goals for this year? 🙂
You are right about that. I thin we sometimes want to want certain things but if we don’t truly want them we won’t do what it takes to achieve. Haha! Does that make sense? I sure said “want” a lot.
Yes, I do. I didn’t call it a resolution though. I stayed on meal plan that had restricted carbs and fats WAY to long and my goal now is to just have fun with my workouts and eat healthy balanced meals. It’s been fun so far!
How about you? Any “habit formations”?
Ha, nothing wrong with a bit of “wanting” at all! Yes, makes complete sense. Yeah low carb or low fat diets just aren’t sustainable long-term are they? I dabbled with a low carb diet for months on end, for no real reason lol. Just to try it out, I guess I fell for the hype a bit, I was around 10% body fat at most! WHAT THE HELL WAS I DOING RESTRICTING CARBS?! Haha. It’s well known the leaner you are, the more carbs your body needs and can handle. It kept me leanish, but did nothing at all for muscle or performance. Hence now sweet potatoes are my new best friend lol.
Which did you find worse, restricting fat or carbs?
My main goal is to regain some of my lost muscle due to all the excess aerobic work I did a few years ago. My strength and muscle is on it’s way now and in the process, keep a close eye on exactly what my body responds to (and how) I’m quite into details lol (sorry)
There are other secondary goals like finish my certifications and read numerous books, but that could warrant another paragraph or five! LOL 😉
Geez! 10 % body fat! No need for carb cutting there!
I was doing 2 starches and 1 fat a day. Everything went great for 2 months and then I started feeling exhausted and hungry all the time. I wanted to see if I could stick it out for 8 more weeks but it made me crazy haha. Like literally.
To answer your question, I craved fat the most. The lack of enough starch drained me though. 🙁
I feel great now but I want to be as lean as I was without the misery lol! There must be a better way!
Good luck with your muscle bulding! You’ll get where you want to be for sure! Your certifications too. So exciting!
Nothing wrong with detail lol!
Thanks very much. So you didn’t actually have a macro limit? 150 grams per day carbs/100 grams fat for instance? I guess doing it your way means you’re not a ‘slave’ to the numbers. But only one serving of fat per day would be pretty difficult, especially with reduced carbs/calories! Fats are the catalyst for the production of all the good hormones. No wonder you felt pretty crappy!
No I don’t count macros. I just try to make sure I get a good amount of protein in and now I am eating a higher carb, low fat (more fat than I was eating though lol) diet but trying not to worry about it too much at the same time lol.
Do you count macros? It seems so difficult to keep up with. Do you find that to be the case?
Yeah I count macros and overall calories, I use myfitnesspal and have a set of measuring cups and a food scale. It’s a tad awkward at first, but after a while you get used to it. I have ranges I target for each macro and I make sure I don’t exceed 3000 calories daily. Then each week I assess my body and adjust as I feel necessary.
I will say for someone who has a pretty hectic schedule, it would be a pain in the butt to some degree. But I find it keeps me very consistent which is key I think.
Oh ok. I can see how it would be easier with the app. I am a stay at home mom so my schedule isn’t thhat hectic. Maybe I’ll give it a shot. Thanks! I just read your about section and you’re 23! Haha, all this time I’ve been talking to a baby. 😃
Haha, nice to know 23 is considered so young! I feel older I must say. Most people are surprised by my age though, they always assume I’m much older for some reason. I guess I come across as relatively mature? Which is always a plus, right? Haha. So how old did you think I was?
you are very knowledgeable which is what I guess made you seem older. I am 32 and I thought you were around that. 🙂
Thanks very much! I try my best to learn all I can, spent far too much time procrastinating in years previous. Now I try my utmost to exceed my boundaries as best I can 🙂
You’re 32?! You look younger for sure!