A Better Way
New Years is only a couple days away; and every year, as the calendar graduates into another setting, we see it as a time to reset, to take inventory, and to make changes to our lives that we hope will benefit us throughout the next year. We call these New Year’s Resolutions. And they have a stinky stigma, especially in the fitness world.
“This is the year that I get it together!”
“I’m going to lose weight!”
“I’m going to eat healthy!”
“I’m going to join the gym!”
The story tends to go like this. We spend the last quarter of the year indulging in all the pleasures of the holidays, and limp into New Year’s feeling gross, fed up, and ready for a change. We make big, sweeping statements called “resolutions” in the hopes that our boldness will result in additional motivation to stay on course. And then we set out on January 1st with a plan, fire under our butts, and great intentions. Then gyms all over America are filled to bursting capacity for January and occasionally a few weeks into February. And eventually… We forget. We get distracted. We get frustrated. We get other priorities. We give up. And the cycle continues.
I want to offer an alternative story. Stick with it, and you may never look back.
I think that the flaw of New Year’s Resolutions is that at this point, it’s assumed that you are going to fail. They’re like a last second “Hail Mary”, or a close your eyes and swing as hard as you can, or a full court buzzer beater. Occasionally, the miracle works, and you’re a hero, but it’s not scientifically proven. It’s luck. It’s accidental.
Your life and mine are too important to leave to an accident.
I am here to propose a Challenge based lifestyle, complete with specific targets, leverage, and a timeline.
The year can be broken down into four, ninety day challenges. Ninety Days is a short enough time frame to minimize the fear and risk in our minds of wasting our effort on something that won’t work, but long enough to see real results from our investment. Companies have used these “Quarters” to gauge success markers forever. Why should we try and use years instead?
“I will get in shape” is almost completely meaningless. It’s subjective and therefore un motivating. It creates outcomes that consist of words like “maybe” and “kinda”. As Americans, we believe in the power or wins and losses. We love to win and hate to lose.
Greg Glassman famously said that “A man will die for a point.” It’s incredibly motivating. This is why we create specific targets. They’re not based on feelings, but instead come down to facts. We’re looking for YES or NO, never Maybe. Maybe is the weak person’s way of saying “no” without feeling like a failure.
The Chicago Cubs are the best team in major league baseball. There is no maybe. They won the World Series. And it will be theirs until someone else wins it. Clear Target with a Measurable Outcome.
Examples of Specific Targets.
“I will do CrossFit at least 3 days per week (36 times) between 1/1 & 3/31.”
“I will train for and run the Papa John’s 10 miler on 4/1 with a time under 80 minutes.”
“I will drink at least 75 green smoothies before 4/1.”
These are specific targets that mean something. At the end of 90 days, it will be clear whether you’ve won or lost. They’re measurable, trackable, and attainable.
What will happen if you lose, quit, or come up short? This is the leverage necessary to keep the fire of motivation raging. The relative pain of continuing must be less than that of quitting. Leave yourself no alternative. The decision must already be made for you even when you’re not motivated, even when you’re anti-motivated. You will do the work necessary to hit your target or you will die trying because that penalty is unacceptable.
Examples of leverage.
“I will…. OR I will donate $1000 dollars to the Communists.”
“I will…. OR for one month, I will change my facebook profile picture to one of me without a shirt on.”
“For every deviation from the plan, I lose a week of coffee.”
Finally, you have to get a team of Supporters who will hold you ACCOUNTABLE. These trusted individuals will commit to ask you the hard questions. They know your outcomes, and your leverages. They have that shirtless picture of you, or your $1000 check written out to the communists, and a commitment to be on your team when things get tough. It will help if these people have similar Targets as well.
I’m committed to seeing you succeed. Consider this my invitation to you to come check out CrossFit Regeneration. We have years of experience helping people hit those Targets! To Schedule your Free 20 minute consultation click HERE.