This is the time of year when everyone wants to set goals. We turn over the calendar for a new year and instinctually feel compelled to identify some area of our lives where we would like to see improvement.
Personally I don’t set new year’s resolutions. And the reason is that I have goals, targets and things I would like to achieve already planned out for the entire year. I know what the goals are for our business. I know where we want to go with our conference. And I know what I want to achieve with my fitness training. If I were to add anything it might be some goals for trips and family experiences.
So when January 1 comes around it’s no different for me than February 1, March 1 or any other day of the year. I am constantly planning out what we want to accomplish, setting out to execute this plan and then reviewing how we did.
But I recognize for many this is not the case. A new year is an opportunity for a fresh start. This is where we can make good on all our hopes and dreams and realize our potential.
And since health and fitness is tied in with many resolutions at this time of year I find it interesting the answers people will give to the question ‘What has contributed to your current state of health?’. For example, if someone is 50 lbs overweight, or has low back pain or cannot walk a flight of stairs, I’d like to know what their thoughts are on how things got to be so bad.
Answers to this question may include:
* ‘My nutrition was really poor’
* ‘I didn’t have time’
* ‘I have low iron’ (or testosterone, or a thyroid condition, or…)
* ‘My training partner moved away’ (or coach, or trainer or …)
* ‘I didn’t get enough sleep’
* ‘I had knee pain’ (or low back, or shoulder, or …)
Regardless of what the reason is for being in a poor state of health there is an easy way to determine who will realize their goal(s) and who will not.
Want to know how to determine this? This has only come to me recently but it comes after more than a decade of having people come me on January 1 to seek help with their health & fitness goals. And looking back we can now see very easily the clients who achieved the best results and those who didn’t.
If we look at the reasons people give for their poor state of health are the majority of the answers things they had control over? Or are they things out of their control? And if their list has a number of items ask them which item they believe had the biggest impact towards comprising their health?
If the answer is something which is within in the control of the individual there may be an opportunity for them to get control over their health and turn their life around. For this to happen they need to be aware of this and be prepared to change that aspect which is damaging their health.
For example, someone who identifies poor nutrition as the reason they are 50 lbs overweight may be able to drop this weight if they are prepared to eat differently and in a healthy way. Or the person who acknowledges only sleeping 4-5 hours per night may have a chance at better health if they are prepared to do whatever it takes to get 8-9 hours per night.
On the other hand if an individual identifies a thyroid condition as the sole reason for their obesity there isn’t a lot of hope for this person. This isn’t to say this person wouldn’t benefit from an improved nutritional plan. Or that this person wouldn’t benefit from getting a little more sleep at night. Or that this person wouldn’t benefit from some type of manual therapy. These things could all help this person as well. But this person doesn’t recognize these things as contributing to their health problems.
And so achieving results will be difficult if not impossible.
A quick way to ensure that your mindset is properly oriented to success is to look at all the things in your life that you are grateful for. And then try and find as many things external to yourself that contributed to that success. For example if you are someone living pain-free and in optimal health you might be grateful for your family doctor, your physiotherapist, your chiropractor, your massage therapist, your dietician, your training partner, your family for supporting you, your coach and many other people who played a role in having high quality health.
And on the other hand for areas of your health that aren’t optimal look at all the things that you could do make it better. While this involves taking a long hard look in the mirror please don’t resort to a fitness selfie for this. Ask yourself a number of question. Could I get more sleep? Could I plan more of my meals? Could I make sure to take the supplement for the nutrients I am lacking? Could I record my workouts? Could I join a team or enter a race? There are lots of options here.
In other words for success look externally and make sure to thank all those who played a role in helping you achieve success. And for challenges look internally and then be honest about finding solutions rather than excuses.
Happy new year everyone,