Considering 2011 is a few days from being just a memory, I feel obligated to discuss the dreaded topic of “New Year’s Resolutions”. What kills me is that a lot of people’s resolutions are the same: “lose weight” “get fit” “work out more” “eat less” etc. In my opinion, these are all just wishes. There is no constructive analysis of where you are, where you want to be, and, most importantly, how you’re going to get from A to B. There is also no basis in reality. What exactly does eat less mean? Can you really eliminate ALL CARBS for the WHOLE year? (no. you cannot. and if you try, you’re just going to be mean and cranky. stop it.)
Even the most dedicated gym rats (myself included) did not just wake up one morning at 6am and decide that we were going to do this every day, 3 hours a day, for the rest of forever. It was a slow process, usually prompted by another goal/reason and then became a lifestyle. That’s the key: it was a PROCESS. Things don’t happen overnight, and sometimes you have to be satisfied with small gains before you can reach your ultimate destination. You’ll see, too, that even when you reach your supposed “goal” – you’ll find something else to strive for – it really never stops. But people get caught up in doing too much too fast, and it gets overwhelming.
SO, instead of harping on what we all do wrong, I’m going to offer some tips for successful goals to getting fit & fierce in the new year.
1. Make a tangible performance goal. What does this mean? For example: maybe your broad goal is to get in shape, or lose a few pounds, but you don’t really have a way to measure progress outside of a scale. Instead, focus on something performance related and commit to it: sign up for your first 5k run/walk, triathlon, half marathon, or whatever your level might be, and commit to training for it a few times a week. For the endurance activities, figure out your mile pace (either walking or running) and try to improve it throughout your training, and set a goal for your finish line time. You’ll be amazed how committed you’ll be to achieving this goal, and as an added benefit, you’ll see the results in the mirror. For my weight lifting buddies, and gosh I hope there are some of you out there – same rules apply. If you’re new to training, make it your goal to dominate technique, practice, and then challenge yourself to hit new personal records. Maybe you’ve never done a pull up before, maybe you want to be able to do 10 pull ups, maybe you want to increase your squat whatever it is – pick something that you want to improve, and go after it. Just “getting stronger” isn’t going to cut it – focus on something and practice it.
2. Don’t try to overhaul your diet overnight – eliminate slowly. When it comes to eating, our bodies get used to what we put into it, and slowly weaning yourself off of certain things yields more longterm success than quitting “cold turkey”. Think of it like a smoking addiction: not many people are successful by just waking up one morning and never smoking ever again. Processed foods/sugars/caffeine work the same way – you have to gradually wean yourself off them and it is a PROCESS. So what does this mean? Instead of starting 2012 eating nothing but seaweed and egg whites (I think I just vommed a little), try a more realistic approach. Pick something in your diet you know is your problem area (soda tends to be mine) – and try to replace it as often as you can. If you have more than 1 a day, try to lower that number. Even replacing just ONE regular soda a day with water reduces your caloric intake by ~200 cals. That can add up to 1400 a week if you eliminate one soda every day! Crazy.
3. CHILL out – stress causes our cortisol levels (a steroid hormone) to rise incredibly, which will spike blood sugar & suppress the immune system. AKA: promote fat storage and elevate your chances of getting sick. Dagger! While sleeping your life away is NOT an option, there’s a one-two punch that can really jumpstart your metabolism – friends! Instead of meeting friends for dinner, drinks, movies, or other sedentary activities, make an effort to combine fitness & fun. Go for walks, go to the gym together, sign up for a spin class, play a sport, etc. Not only will it hold you accountable because it’s not just for you, it’s a great way to catch up with friends while keeping your cortisol levels in check. Convince your happy hour crowd to convert to kickboxing – you won’t regret it.
My goals for 2012 are mainly coaching related. The high school lacrosse season starts in a month and performance-wise, I want a winning record and to take district. I am also making it my own goal to make sure to give each player one SPECIFIC skill or aspect of their game to work on throughout the season. Something performance related that, by the end, we can measure and see improvement.
For my own training, I’m focusing on being able to complete a muscle-up. It is the most bad ass upper body exercise out there and I’m going to nail it. I also really want to stop dying when I do 120’s – my goal is to be able to do 10 more consistently before the world ends 😉
What are some of your goals? Do you have other suggestions for making 2012 the best year ever? hit me up!
Posted on December 28, 2011, in Fitness, Strength & Conditioning, Training and tagged coaching, fitness, goals, lacrosse, new year's resolutions, performance, training, weightlifting. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.