“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one Year and out the other.” Unknown
“May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions!” Joey Adams
“I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.” Anais Nin
Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions
My wife will be the first to admit that I have a bad memory, but I honestly can’t remember EVER making a New Year’s resolution. Maybe I just don’t like commitment, or I’m a non-conformist rebel, but there has always been something about New Year’s resolutions that didn’t agree with me.
It’s probably because our culture gets so infatuated with New Year’s resolutions every year. It’s in the news, on talk radio, daily shows and night shows. Fitness blogs and websites are among some of the most common places to read about New Year’s resolution strategies because of all the weight loss goals people usually have after the holidays. All those parties, special events, and family get-togethers create a social recipe of excess and undesirable weight gain.
Now, since so much attention is given to New Year’s resolutions and we have access to such an abundance of information, you would think that we’d see dramatic changes in people’s lives throughout each year. I know this may come as a shock, but this isn’t the case. In my experience, New Year’s resolutions amount to little or no actual change in someone’s life. A New Year’s resolution is likened to a wish or a dream that can be ignored, forgotten or easily discarded at any time.
So, every year, I’m faced with the decision about whether to set a New Year’s resolution, and every year I make the same choice. It’s a no-brainer. If it’s not working for the majority of people, then it’s probably not the best strategy. I’ll pass, thank you.
I Need My Info-Fix Man!
Our modern culture, and in particular, the widespread growth of the Internet, has spawned a new type of problem: infoholism. This disorder feeds on New Year’s resolutions. Like alcoholism, infoholism is an addiction, and once you get addicted, it’s hard to quit.
Infoholism: (n) a chronic disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive absorption of exorbitant amounts of information leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction.
Infoholic: (n) someone who is suffering from infoholism.
I’ve been around fitness circles both online and offline for long enough to know an infoholic when I see one. It’s the guy or gal who has been on what seems like a life-long journey to discover the next best thing that can help them reach their health, fitness, or athletic goals. They read books, magazines, blogs and forums to get all the latest info – leaving no stone unturned. They can tell you all about the latest diets and fitness programs that were just released, along with the most promising upcoming supplement lines. An infoholic is a textbook know-it-all.
This sounds like a special gift indeed. After all, who wouldn’t want to experience a greater acquisition of information? But there’s a dark side to the infoholism addiction. One of the side-effects of infoholism includes excessive and prolonged procrastination. This form of internal resistance does wonders for the infoholic, making it nearly impossible to apply all that information. Basically, an infoholic is someone with a mind brimming with ideas, but who cannot put those ideas to practical use. It’s the ADHD of knowledge. Infoholics are all talk, but no walk. All theory, no practice. Inert. Inept.
Procrastination (I’ll Think of a More Specific Title Later)
Both infoholics and New Year resolvers are facing the same problem. These people are wishful dreamers. While, they may not lack desire or access to information or resources, they lack action. They’ve probably also nurtured a habit of procrastination until it becomes an art form.
Concerning procrastination, I like this quote by Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art (2002):
Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize. We don’t tell ourselves, “I’m never going to write my symphony.” Instead we say, “I am going to write my symphony; I’m just going to start tomorrow.” The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed. (p. 21-22)
How to Kill Procrastination
Maintaining health and fitness is not complicated. Sure, it’s true that some fitness methods work better than others, but we already know the fundamental facts. Most people just need to act on those facts.
The truth is that we already know almost everything we could ever need to enjoy better health, fitness, and athleticism. There are tried-and-true methods for achieving practically any health or fitness goal already well-established in coaching circles and research journals alike. We’re in the 21st century and we know what works. If people just got the sleep they needed, ate the foods they know are good for them, and engaged in some vigorous physical activity regularly, most of the health problems we are facing on an epic scale would begin to disappear. It’s not a lack of knowledge or information that is the problem, it’s a lack of action. Consistent, disciplined, hard work is always more effective than a perfectly planned regime that is pursued halfheartedly. Action always solves more problems than planning.
Now and in the future, you need to make it a point to ACT on what you already know to be true. Don’t waste your life spending exorbitant amounts of time trying to figure out the next best thing or waiting until the time is right. The time is now…
The following clip was taken from a speech by billionaire extraordinaire, Art Williams, for the National Association of Religious Broadcasters in 1987. Art had a slow start to his career, but is now on the Forbes list of World Billionaires because of what he applied in this speech…
The best time to think about your health and fitness was ten years ago. The next best time is today! — Dr. Uche Odiatu
Now, you’re faced with a choice. This decision is no different than it has ever been. It’s not special because of the time of year or any other circumstances. It’s just like any other decision you’ve ever made, and have been making your entire life. You’ve made hundreds, if not thousands of decisions today already – some consciously, some subconsciously.
The truth is that the only thing separating you from the life you desire is your own free will.
Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance. This second, we can sit down and do our work. Steven Pressfield (The War of Art, 2002, p. 22)
Now, I know that you know exactly what to do. So, just do it.
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CST, CST-KS, NSCA-CPT