new-year-resolutions2

You have to live out your resolution one day at a time…..

“As we reach the start of a new year, remember that success doesn’t come from a single day of resolutions, but from living every day with resolve.”

-Gregg Everett (here is his site)

Gregg Everett is a well-known Olympic weightlifting coach and is the co-host of the popular Paleo Solution podcast with Robb Wolf (listen to the podcast here) .  He is a guy who calls it as he sees it.  His vision for accomplishing ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ inspired me.  I could not have said it better myself. ‘Living every day with resolve’  is a meaningful aspiration with which I have personal and professional experience.  In this article I will share with you my thoughts and advice as to how you can make a sincere effort to forget your resolution and ‘live each day with resolve’.

In April of 2005 I made a resolution that ultimately kick-started my present drive for a happy, healthy, meaningful life.  I resolved to get healthier, eat better, work out harder and really learn how to box so I could win the Golden Gloves one year later in 2006.  At the time I intended only to transform my physicality and do my best each day.  I had other interests such as health, fitness, my job at the time and generally helping people, but boxing and working out in general were my priorities at the time.  I had a one-track mind, my schedule was very flexible and I was also young enough and so out of shape at the outset that I managed to lose 50 pounds during that year and accomplish my resolution.

Fortunately I took the momentum from that small feat and set on a path that led me to become passionate about becoming healthier and learn how to help other people do the same. In the near nine years since my resolution I have returned to college, completed a bachelor’s in Exercise Science and created the career I have today as a personal trainer and healthful living consultant. It is actually from my professional experience, where I have had the opportunity to observe gym members and directly work with hundreds of clients, that I identified what it takes for someone to go beyond their resolution and make more meaningful changes to their life.

It was only recently after reading the quote from Mr. Everett that I put it together that two of them most influential factors I’ve noticed that help people to transform themselves were in my favor at the time; support system and guidance.  I would not have done any of this, or be where I am today, and I certainly wouldn’t have accomplished my resolution without the incredible support and guidance I received from my coach, my family, my friends, a few books as well as my workplace and girlfriend at the time.  I didn’t consciously set it up that way, it just worked out for me like that, you don’t have to do that, with this article you can readily put yourself in position to ‘live each day with resolve’ which took me many more years to do.

Unlike me, most people make their resolutions at the start of the year.  Also unlike me, the majority of people who resolve to become healthier and more fit are not strongly supported and do not seek the right type of guidance for them.  I also look back and realized that my mentality from the start was to take my resolution one day at a time which I believe is essential for transformation.

With the simple tools I present here you can put yourself in the best position to transform your habits, your health and your body in the way you want.  More importantly, the tools here encourage you to shift your mindset and transform your resolution into a quest to ‘live each day with resolve’.  But first, what does it mean to ‘live each day with resolve’?

re·solve  (verb)

  • to find an answer or solution to (something)
  • to settle or solve (something)
  • to make a definite and serious decision to do something
  • to make a formal decision about something

In order to find the solution and make a decision an individual has to identify a problem.  It has been my experience that the problem for many people with health and fitness-related ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ is that they fail to take responsibility for their health.  That was me in April of ’05.  Typically, this lack of responsibility presents itself as poor eating, exercising and stress relief habits which typically leads to a body appearance that people mentally connect to their habits such as fat accumulation, muscle loss and a feeling of being ‘out of shape’.  Unfortunately most people think the problem is their bodyfat or bad habits, but at their core they lack responsibility in some manner.  That is the blunt reality.

The solution to the problem, lack of responsibility for one’s health, is for the individual to choose to take responsibility for their own health.  This is carried out by making the choice to ‘be healthy’ each day after that.  I would also like to expand that and add ‘and happy’ to this choice, since there is a somewhat common misconception that being healthy is restrictive or painful.  It’s not, unless you really want it to be.  In that case I can give you temporary pain if you hire me as your personal trainer.

Write down your choice: “Be happy and healthy each day”

Gandhi-Our-beliefs-blue1

An interesting (and sometimes frustrating) thing about this is that there is no singular ideal way for you take personal responsibility for yourself, just as there is no singular ideal diet or exercise plan. People are inspired by so many different things, and there are so many different ways of organizing one’s life that all I can do is present a general framework that’s been found helpful by many clients and associates.  This is just one way.  Ideally you will be able to incorporate one of the tools I recommend into your pursuit of health and happiness.

Once again, making the choice each day to be healthy and happy is the foundation for taking responsibility for yourself.  Remember, you are taking this one day at a time. It is crucial for you to make the fundamental shift from making specific future goals called resolutions (such as “losing 20 pounds”) to the immediate focus on actually doing the things that improve your health and lead you to make lasting improvements to your mindset and habits one day at a time.  That is what seems to facilitate people to take ownership of their health and wellness.

You can easily make a lifestyle journal where you keep track of what you eat, how you exercise, how you sleep and how you feel stress-wise throughout each day,  This is an extremely effective way for you to focus on being healthy one day at a time while tracking your progress, if you’re data-driven then you may love this.  You can also adopt “I am choosing to be healthy and happy each day” as your mantra which is a line of thought that you repeat to yourself and can use to guide your ‘internal dialogue’ as it relates to lifestyle choices such as what to eat, how to exercise, sense and relieve your stress and so on.  Write that or some line just like it in your journal every day and then make it a part of your life,

The ‘lifestyle journal’ is like a guidebook for ‘living with resolve’.  In it you will record your daily habits and also sit down at least once a week with it to identify and write out your support system and potential sources of resistance to your progress. You’re the type of person who reads health-related blogs, you search for information about things you have some interest in and you are successful in things you apply yourself to.  What I’m saying is that you are probably have a strong-mind, even if you don’t view yourself in that manner, you are still very likely to  think you can go about this without organizing a support system.  Well, you’re wrong.  Put yourself in the best position to succeed.  Support system. Write down your thoughts about it each week after you assemble it of course.

It is important that you understand that the power of influence regarding your support system is a two-way street.  If you want your family, friends, coworkers, etc. to support your choice to eat cleaner and exercise regularly among other things then you have be very intentional with the way they go about informing them of your pursuit and then some time later sharing with them the expectations you have for yourself and them.

First, please write down the 5 most influential people in your life at the present moment, this tends to be family, friends and a significant other.  In meeting with them you will only explain to them how much the choice means to you and let them know you consider them part of your support system.  That is all. Say no more.  You have to start doing it before you can give them any details.  Actually living the life is far more important than planning to live the life.  Your actions will eventually speak for themselves.

It is in your best interest to be very careful with how you approach the people who qualify as your support system (some of these people you may not like to admit it but they have influence on you in some way) so as to put yourself in the best position to employ a calm demeanor with a positive outlook in the brief but passionate mission statement you will recite to them.

“I am choosing to be healthy and happy each day and I think of you as part of my support system.”

Some people find it easy to assemble a support system.  Typically these people are outgoing with great communication skills.  If you don’t think that describes you, that’s fine, you should still identify 5 people in your life who have influence with you and go recite them the exact line above.  It takes courage to make changes and it takes courage to assemble a support system, that’s the reality of the situation, I recommend you embrace it.  You will be more courageous afterwards no matter what happens.

For other people it is easy to find the right type of guidance for them.  The experiences with your support system and your search for guidance are so important that they demand a regular report in your lifestyle journal, once-weekly at the minimum, although many people begin with daily updates.  Professionally, I am the guidance for many people who have at one point or another resolved to become healthier, happier and stronger.  In my work I play a major role in the health and fitness-related pursuits of some clients, but more often than not I play a minor a role as simply their personal trainer.

This is acceptable to me for a few reasons, one being that my approach to optimizing health and fitness is not for everyone.  I am confident in my knowledge, interpersonal skills and adaptability when it comes to directly working with clients but I am well aware that there are clients who aren’t very interested in my take on lifestyle and exercise as it relates to health, they just want a good workout or they have their own diet and stress relief things going on.

Once again, there is no singular ideal diet, training regimen or stress management routine.  It’s so important it needs repeated.  Trust me.  In my professional practice I successfully employ many different types of training regimens and recommend many different types of diets and stress relief activities based on the preferences, mentality and specific goals of the client. The key is for you to find the right type of guidance for you.

Do you want a personal trainer?  Do you want to consult with a professional who can help you come up with a practical way to eat and exercise in a healthy way? Do you want to read books covering diet as it relates to health? Do you want to watch YouTube videos about exercises and stress relief?  Do you want to google “healthy diets” and “good exercise plans” and browse the internet for your guidance?  Maybe you want to pick and choose good ideas from various blogs about the topic.

They all can work, even the googling might work.  The key is that you find the right type of guidance for you.  I feel very strongly that anyone making the choice to be healthy and happy each day will greatly benefit from incorporating this general framework in their approach:

At this point you have the basic tools to move forward and ‘live each day with resolve’.  A lifestyle journal can be like your guidebook.  In it you will record your feelings related to your support system, how your search for the right type of guidance is working for you and above all you will record how you feel about and live your life.  Keep track of your daily sleep, feelings of stress, use of any stress relief techniques, what you eat and what you do for exercise; you can add more but that is the basics, and it will help you become more aware of your body and yourself which I’ve found in my life to be influential in promoting me to stay on track and continue to do the things that lead me to feel less stress, more energy and happier in general.

Here is a summary for ‘Choosing to Live Each Day With Resolve’

  1. admit that you need to take responsibility for your health
  2. make the decision to take responsibility for your health
  3. make the choice each day to be healthy and happy
  4. organize your life for success by assembling a support system, searching for the right type of guidance and recording these experiences as well as how you live your life into a lifestyle journal

You’re going to have to make adjustments as you go. And, this article only provided a brief overview of how you can turn aspirations for a future goal into a life of taking responsibility for your health and happiness in the moment.  I also glossed over things that have books and entire fields dedicated to them, so it makes sense that you probably have some more questions.  I say you gather the courage to ask me your questions in the comments section underneath. Regardless, you have what it takes to forget your resolution and begin living each day with resolve.  Love you all.

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