Every January millions of people make the resolution to improve their health either by exercise, diet changes, or both. I often hear people say, “This is the year I’ll lose 20 pounds! This is the year I’ll exercise 3 times per week! This is the year I’ll eat better!” The list goes on and on …
These resolutions are made on New Year’s Day. About two weeks later they begin to fade, and by the end of January, on average, 90% of these resolutions fail.
Why is that? Why do we only put forth the effort to lose weight and get in shape for a month? We didn’t gain all that weight in a month. We didn’t get out of shape in a month. So why do we become frustrated and and give up on our resolutions after a month? Do we honestly think that we are going to change for the better so quickly?
The reason we fail to reach our fitness goals, fail to lose weight, fail to clean up our diet, and fail to workout 3 times per week has to do with our approach, which is like that of a sprinter. Each January we are tired, overweight, overworked, feel miserable, and want to improve our health as quickly as possible. So, we over-compensate and come out of the starting blocks at full force. We hit the gym, clean out the fridge, and go full throttle because this year it’s going to work!
Here’s the thing about sprinting … it only covers a limited distance or, in our case, time, and working in a such a limited manner is not effective when it comes to our health. We cannot keep up that frantic pace day after day, month after month, year after year without breaking down.
Marathon runners on the other hand train slow and steady day after day. Slow and steady wins the race of life. You must pace yourself by setting up small daily and weekly training goals. We all need to look at working to improve our health like marathon runners look at training.
In addition to slow and steady, here are some tips to improve your chances for success even more. Find an accountability partner. Find a way to stay motivated everyday. Don’t assume for one minute that those extra pounds will fall off with a couple of trips to the gym. Slow and steady will help you keep from losing momentum. Slow and steady will help keep you from burning out. Slow and steady will help you see incremental changes in your health. Those changes will be weight reduction, increased energy, improved sleep, improved blood work results, and improved motivation to keep training for the long haul. Remember there is no need to improve your health at that “sprinting” pace. Steady, consistent training will yield amazing results. Steady, consistent training will evolve into a way of life, and what you want to do is train to be fit for life. Remember, move more today than you did yesterday. Movement is Life. Join the Movement!