My Take on New Years Resolutions
As January approaches an end, how many of us have already blown the New Year Resolution of diet, sobriety, training, weight loss or even that goal of trying to be an all round better person!!
And then following this all to easy crumble of will power had the frustration and depressive feelings of realising that January is just another month and 2019 is just another number and that they weren’t a new dawn! And the start of a new you.
When this happens and resolutions are broken, the easiest thing is to just give up and say ah it doesn’t matter “I’ll start after the weekend”, “after the holiday” or “after the 6 nations”! But in reality that “Rarely happens, but often fails!!”
The truth is there are too many things can get in the way of living that “perfect lifestyle” especially when we set our selves up to fail by setting unrealistic goals in the first place.
There was a time, Along time ago probably in another millennium when I had nothing or nobody to worry about, my time was my own and training was far easier to fit in. But as you grow and the demand on your time gets more and more things like training fall by the way side. However if I (or anyone) was to use a lack of time as an excuse for not doing anything that would be a lie or a massive copout. It does not matter who we are or what we are doing, we could all find 30 mins a day to do something!
The key for us with heavy demands on our time, or who have a track record of inconsistency, is to set achievable goals in the first place (A little and often) something that you can realistically do. And then also to have the mindset that if/when life throws you a curve ball that you are able to adapt to the situation and rather than giving up totally you just reassess and set yourself another goal. Sounds easy!
This may come across like I’m promoting fickleness (is that a word!) but sometimes falling off the resolution wagon can not be helped and instead of beating ourselves up over it or giving up totally we have to overcome the obstacles and go again, even if it is on a different route with a different goal!
So if you are starting from scratch on your physical activity journey or had been out of the game for a few years and your NY Resolution is, “to stop drinking, stop eating sugar, go to the gym four times a week and run 10 miles a week” – You are highly likely to fail. But If it was to Walk 30 mins each morning/evening for a month then reassess your goals – You should succeed and you will feel better for it. Better physically and better mentally for achieving a goal. This is all very basic and just common sense but how many of us continuously fall foul of reaching to far to soon and then give up!!!
Thinking I still had what I never had!
For me I fell into the trap of setting myself a New Years promise (again) and that 2019 was going to be my year. I had earmarked an event and a challenge that was going to take effort, training, will power! I had actually began training and was starting to see some gains (small ones). Then BANG two weeks into this new dawn, when on a sun soaked beach a couple of local lads & lasses challenged us to a game of football.
Now these locals did not lack skill, had no sense of taking it easy and with their tops discarded showed off their Drogba like physiques. But that only made me raise my game, with a few Cruyff turns and Roy Keane tackles and a Jan Molby physique, they knew it was game on!
Then out of no where Harvey sent over a cross, and as the ball hung in the air, BANG! I was Mark Hughes, the year was 1986, Wales v Spain. I leapt in the air for the trademark scissor kick. Now I know I connected but not sure where the ball went! But as I hit the “soft sand” it felt like concrete, and BANG I was winded, with a pain down my leg I think I hid it well but quickly remembered that you don’t bounce that well in your 40’s. Any way at the end of a pulsating 60 plus mins the game ended 10-9 and honestly I have not been able to walk properly since! “Pulled a calf muscle or two or something” yes I felt uncomfortableness whilst playing but what can you do, its a game its competition its what we live for! And yes I know it’s stupidity.
Over the years my philosophy has always been – I’d rather be in the game in pain than on the touch lines in frustration! But I am slowly starting to rethink this mentality!
And the serious side to this is injuries and ageing bodies are depressing. And I mean proper depressing! If you enjoy physical activity or you have set yourself a goal and then this is taken away from you through injury and your body can’t do what your mind wants to it, this is bad!!! and if the pain lingers like a toothache it does start to drain you. That is when it is important to reassess and refocus your goals, if you can not run, walk more, if you can’t do that cycle, swim or go to the gym, but whatever you do, do not sit around feeling sorry for yourself. Because Movement, physical activity and achieving goals are the best thing for keeping you happy, balanced and a great way to escape the everyday demands of life, even if it is for just 30 minutes a day.
We go again!
For me I have had two weeks off whinging about my leg and it’s time to realise I properly can’t do what I wanted to achieve this year so it’s time to set another goal and move on. With knowledge that once fully recovered I can revisit the same plan. But also with the knowledge that I’m not getting any younger!
So lets not make everything about the 1st Jan, yes set goals but be realistic and be prepared to be flexible. So whether your goal is a 45 minute 5K this year or a sub 12hr Ironman, good look and remember each one is it’s own unique challenge for the person trying to achieve it in our own search for personal satisfaction.