Are Your New Year Fitness Goal’s Already a Thing of the Past?

As January has come and gone, I have heard several of my students share with me that their health and fitness New Year’s resolutions have done just that—come and gone.

Why does this happen? Why are we so geared up and fearless when we set a goal, just to have it fizzle out? Why do we do all the right things, envision what we will look and feel like when we achieve what we set out to, and then when the excitement wears off and we face some adversity, we simply quit?

Ask any high achiever what the secret to success is, and in some form, the following words will be found in their answer, resonating loud and clear. Stay consistent, work on yourself and never quit.

Any person who has earned any sort of improvement in their physical fitness level remembers day one—the day it all began. It was within that moment, possibly sparked by a picture they saw of themselves and how they “really looked,” by a number on the scale they never thought they would see in their lifetime, or by a health scare that made them realize that literally their life was on the line, that the decision was made to change something about their current fitness routine. It may have been to tone up, to lose 5 pounds, to lose 100 pounds, to increase flexibility or just be healthier overall.
Regardless of how big or small the goal was, this is what served as the first step on a journey that changed them. Their eyes were finally opened to a new world that would bring to them a variety of challenges, happiness, disappointments and ultimately, success.

Personally, on the day I decided I was going to change my body, mind and fitness level forever, my energy level and belief was so high, I was virtually bulletproof. I was ready to go out and conquer the world. Without a shadow of a doubt, I knew I would be a resounding example of someone who had “done it.” I simply dismissed anyone who may tell me that it could not be done. In my heart, I knew it could be. I also knew, if one (wo)man can, another (wo)man can. I knew I would do it.

The power of that belief is so essential to the success of anyone. There is simply no way around it. If you do not believe in what it is you are setting out to achieve, or more importantly, in yourself, frustration will follow whatever effort you may force yourself to put forth.

No matter how much faith we had on day one, the Fade Factor can creep in and challenge our commitment when we begin to face obstacles. I believe this is where many people, who are just a few steps away from achieving the body or health of their dreams, give up in the face of adversity and leave behind them what could have been an amazing amount of fulfillment.

When we first get started on our path to physical fitness, we do not anticipate the challenges that we will face. We do not look forward to the necessary 5 a.m. workouts because that is the only time we can fit it in, or the discipline we must have in turning away some of our once favorite foods in place of healthier options. We do not long for the temporary muscle failure or the buckets of sweat during our cardio workouts. These things are good enough to challenge anyone’s belief and allow them to talk themselves into “why it’s okay to just skip my workout today.” This is the moment where the rubber meets the road. This is where our initial excitement has reached its Fade Factor and we have a decision to make. Quit, or keep going.

It all becomes clear at this point why the great leaders of today advise us to stay plugged in with others who have achieved a physical fitness goal or who are working alongside you as you achieve yours together. It is essential that we continue to surround ourselves with positive people who support us and encourage us . . . who can remind us why we wanted to strive for excellence to begin with. They bring us back to the reason why we choose to be something great. So find a workout partner. Find a personal trainer or a coach. Find someone who keeps you constantly reminded that you can do it.

We have to be careful not to place our self-worth or the worth of our fitness goals in the hands of those who do not understand or support what we are setting out to achieve. With daily, consistent effort coupled with the knowledge provided by those who have gone before us, the successes we find will far outweigh the disappointments and that Fade Factor will be a thing of the past.

Omar Kayam once said, “On the plains of hesitation lay the sun bleached bones of millions who on the verge of victory, sat down to rest, and while resting, died.” Let that not be you.

Remember the day you began in total faith, the day you knew, in due time, that you would be sporting your bikini on the beach without an ounce of self-consciousness . . . the day you knew you would put on your “skinny jeans” with room to spare and confidence to boot . . . the day you never questioned success. Go forward with that feeling solidified in your heart and nothing will stop you. They will not find you on the plains of hesitation. You will be the one awakening others from their rest, encouraging them to come and join you from where you stand as a toned, slim, amazing model of fitness and health.

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