Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Part 1: Resolutions Suck

Okay, so it's New Year's Eve!  New Year's Eve means resolutions!  Yaaaaay!  So, show of hands, who can tell me why new year resolutions suck?  You there, in the back!  Yes, that's right!


Why, you ask?  I mean, I want to make a fresh start, and the new year is the perfect time and date!  A fresh start for a fresh year! Well, excellent question asker, new year's resolutions are unfair to you, dear reader.  More often than not, you're trying to make a drastic, huge change in your lifestyle, in ONE DAY.  Your body doesn't like that, your subconcious doesn't like that, and everything that makes you, "you," is going to struggle against it for all it's worth.  This, in turn, will make those changes very difficult to maintain over the long term, and end up leaving you frustrated or disappointed.

Your body doesn't like change.  You may want change, in your head, but your body doesn't like it.  Heck, changing your favorite brand of soup, or your preferred route to work, or what time you have your coffee, all of these things are relatively difficult.  Typically resolutions are much bigger changes than that, and we want them because we're impatient, and want a better life.  There's nothing wrong with having goals like that, but making the jump all at once is going to leave you frustrated and disappointed.  Instead, you want something else...


So what is a plan?  Well, first of all, a plan is incremental.  Let's say you want to quit smoking.  Quitting smoking is HARD.  Going "cold turkey" is HARD.  Instead of going cold turkey, you want to instead buy the patch or gum, and just cut down on the number of cigarettes you have per day until you wean yourself off.  By the same token, you don't want to just tell yourself, "I'm only eating salads and oatmeal, going to the gym fives times a week, and drinking a gallon of water every day."  Start slow, then work yourself up.  I'll start with myself, and my own goals for the year.


Name: Dan Wallace
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 210 lbs
  • Martial Artist
  • Fitness Enthusiast
  • Skilled Gamer
  • Adventure Seeker
  • Writer
  • Computer Expert 
Summary: Unfortunately, due to a combination of injury, and stressful, over-packed life, I've fallen out of shape.  I'm honestly not happy with where I'm at at the moment, and I want to set some goals for where I'd like to be by the end of this year.  Remember, these are GOALS, not plans.  Goals are different from plans.

Goals(by December 31st 2013):
185 Toned, muscular pounds.
Full range of flexibility back(ideally I'd like to have the splits down by the end of the year).
Able to do 100 pushups consecutively.
Run a sub 2:45 Tough Mudder(ideally I'd like to finish in the top 5%, but I'm being realistic here =P)

So those are my goals, so how to we lay out a plan?  My dad used to have a phrase: How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  So we look at goal #1, and lay out our first bite.  I want to be 185 toned, muscular pounds by the end of the year.  As we know, physical appearance and weight is driven as much by diet as anything else, so I'll attack that first.  I'll be working my way down to The Fighter Diet, but I'm going to start this week by switching to skim milk in my morning cereal for my first meal, and then not getting a greasy egg sandwich once I'm at work.  If I feel the need to eat something at work before lunch, I'll have oatmeal, or granola, with fruit.

Workout-wise, I'm going to set a goal of working out twice a week to start.  One strength workout, and one cardio.  I'm going to be using the Ezio Auditore workout as my base layout, and probably embellishing a bit once I get into the swing of things.

Let's look at these short term goals again.

This week, I will...
Do 1 cardiovascular workout.
Do 1 strength workout.
Eat skim milk with my cereal, and have oatmeal instead of an egg sandwich for my second breakfast.

These are relatively small changes to my everyday life, that I know are WELL within my ability to do.  I could say that I'm going to also eat salad for lunch every day, and that I'm going to work out every day until Friday, but even though I'm used to physical regimens and diet plans like that, it's been long enough that my body is out of practice!  So I'm setting the bar below what I think is really pushing myself, because I know it's easy, and I want it to be.  Additionally, these steps are MEASURABLE.  I'm not vaguely stating, "I will try to eat better," I'm being affirmative and saying, "I will eat skim milk and oatmeal."  No wiggle room.

Make your plan easy, and measurable, and you'll find it easier to stick to.

Tomorrow we're going to take a look at another new challenger in our New Year's Resolution Showdown, so come back for a female perspective on things!  Until then, make sure to follow me on Twitter,  like the blog page on Facebook, hit up the Tumblr, and continue to be awesome!  Happy new year! Dan "DaRatmastah" Wallace

No comments:

Post a Comment