I would like to say that I simply don’t have to make a resolution around January 1st because I have everything figured out but that would be a huge lie. Quite frankly I often feel as if I don’t have any answers. The reason I don’t make resolutions is because I made one years ago to never make another new years resolution again and I’ll make a change when something needs changing and I have prepared myself for success. Maybe that’s a cop-out but I like it.
My start date for diet improvements is now. My start date for any adjustments in training is now. This is because I am fortunate enough to have a base of knowledge to be able to assess my behaviours and have some solutions for adjusting them. Note how I don’t use the phrase “Fixing my behaviours”. If my diet or training is not what I feel it can be then I don’t believe it is broken and needs an overhaul or fixing, my thought process is that it just needs adjustments so that it can support the things I want to do in my life. I am not one to say “After this holiday season I’m going to start my diet.” I don’t believe that is a healthy way to think about diet or exercise nor is it very sustainable. Think about the people in your life (maybe it’s even you) and how many times you have heard that statement. Do they look any different? Have they stopped complaining about their deteriorating health? Probably not… because their mind set is that improving your health has to be this big crazy ordeal with a start-date some time in the future when I believe it can be much simpler than that.
I have written many times on this blog about making small adjustments and developing habits rather than going on one big all-out attack on your body composition and health. It is my opinion (and that of many people way smarter than me) that making small changes is more effective at improving your health in the long term than any cleanse, fast or challenge will be. The most effective way to change your health is to work towards creating habits one at a time. Once you are confident that you can sustain this behaviour then it’s time to add in another.
This could be as simple as the following two week cycles of:
- Drink 2 cups of water upon waking
- Take an Omega 3 supplement every day
- Walk for 10 minutes per day
- Eat until about 80% full, not all the way full
- Eat protein with every meal or snack
- Add in a vegetable with each dinner
- Walk for 20 minutes per day
- Walk for 20 minutes per day – speeding up and slowing down between street lights
There’s 16 weeks of simple, gradual health improvements starting from zero.
If at any point you didn’t achieve 80% compliance with a new behaviour then you would try for another 2 weeks to achieve it. If you still cannot achieve 80% then it may not be the right time for that behaviour and it’s time to focus on adding a different behaviour while maintaining all the other wonderful habits you have created and you can try revisiting it later. All you need to do to track is make a check mark on a calendar every time you complete “X” and then at the end of 14 days see if you were compliant 80% of the time, or 11 out of 14 days.
So, I’m not saying not to make a New Year’s resolution yourself. If that’s your thing then please do so. What I am saying is that if your resolution is to improve your health in any way then start small and do it as soon as you can. Don’t wait until after your mid-January-scheduled late office Christmas party to start your 6-day fast followed by a 9-day juice cleanse before you start your horse hair-infused aromatherapy dynamic muscle tension strength video series. Start today by doing something as simple as drinking an extra glass of water right now, or go eat a carrot and do it again tomorrow. (And please don’t do a 6-day fast followed by a 9-day juice cleanse before you start your horse hair-infused aromatherapy dynamic muscle tension strength video series, ever. Fuck that shit ya weirdo)
Just remember to keep it simple and make small, better choices based on where you are now not based on the picture of health you have for yourself months away and don’t wait to make a positive change.