I don’t really like New Year’s resolutions. I think it’s a bit simplistic to have a start date for change and improvement. It also gives people an excuse to be lazy. “Yeah, I can eat this pack of donuts for dinner. It’s November. Starting in January is when I really kick it into high gear. Next year is the year of me!”
I get why people make them, though. Each year is a fresh slate, somehow, and people all have the desire to improve. If something like the changing of a date motivates you, go for it.
If you made a New Year’s resolution and are reading this blog I’m going to assume your resolution had something to do with changing your body. You might want to add a little muscle, or lose a bunch of weight. Both are worthy goals and both are achievable in a year. There are some things you are going to need to keep in mind.
It is going to hurt.
Going into the weight room or starting a cardio routine will hurt your body. You will be sore and uncomfortable. Some days you will be physically miserable. It’s imperative that you don’t stop at the first sign of discomfort. Push through it, remember that its only a temporary state.
If you enter the gym with a determined mindset nothing will stop you.
Soreness or tiredness will simply be a minor obstacle that you conquer. The initial battle to change your body is waged in your head. As George S. Patton said:
"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one
thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the
body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up.
It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is
never tired if the mind is not tired"
Any attempt to change your body’s composition is an exercise in delayed gratification.
You will suffer now and not see any instant rewards. You might work as hard as you can for a month straight and only see minimal change. In moments like this you cannot let yourself get down. You must keep the big picture in mind. You are working now for a future reward.
You must detach your emotions from your body.
You cannot let negative feelings about your body creep into your head. Your sourness will do nothing but delay and damage your success. Let negative thoughts pass right through your mind. Nothing physical is instant. The work you put in now is laying a foundation for future success, and sexiness.
There is one gigantic tip that every resolutioner and new gym goer needs to heed:
Keep it simple.
We live in an era of information overload. You can get lost in the jungle of fitness and diet information and misinformation. There will be countless contradictions and asinine assertions. Ignore all of that.
The most important thing for you to do is show up and work hard. An imperfect plan executed with perfect intensity will always trump a perfect plan executed with minimal intensity. Go to the gym often, and make sure you sweat every time. That is your only goal.
As you improve you can get into the more complicated stuff like perfect programming, rep schemes and supplementation. None of that matters at first. Instill in yourself a physical work ethic. Show up, work hard, repeat.
Eric Cressey has a saying that I really like- “Most people could show up to the gym and bang their head against a wall and lose weight.” You don’t need to know how to squat, deadlift or do a double under on a jump rope. All you need to know is how to show up and work hard. If you want to learn how to do those things you can hire me, and I’ll yell at you for a couple hours a week.