I’m amazed at the number of people who make New Year’s resolutions, not because I’m against goal-setting, but because if you asked those same people to make a goal in June versus January, they’d probably opt for a one-week or one-month change, not one that lasts an entire year. Your New Year’s Resolutions are history. One year is simply too long commit to anything new. Instead, why not resolve to do each of the following for just 30 days. Making changes in short but sustainable bursts sets you up to succeed. And let’s be honest, that’s all any of us really wants when it comes to our health and fitness.
Your New Year’s Resolutions are History
Step 1: Put Consistency Over Time
So many of us fall into the all-or-nothing mindset. We think that if we don’t have a full hour to devote to working out we might as well skip it altogether. Time, as you might have guessed, is the biggest excuse. With two kids, a wife, my own business, and constant sleep deprivation, I know that long workouts are a luxury. But I also know that 20 minutes of movement on days when time is tight is worthwhile. A short run or row, a quick and functional strength workout (TRX, Bosu, Kettlebells), yoga, or a brisk walk all maintain the great work you’ve already put in. Plan your week in advance. Take advantage of those windows of opportunity for hard or long workouts. But when time is tight, opt for 10 minutes of squats and push-ups in the yard or walking or biking to work instead of driving. Each session can clear your head, get the blood flowing, and set your brain up to make better decisions about work, food, and sleep.
Step 2: Don’t Say No
People often say to me, “Josh, you probably never eat dessert or drink beer.” I love that people think that I live on kale and brown rice alone. Truth is, I eat sweets and occasionally fried foods like French fries, but I also actually crave things like chard, kale, salads, and nutrient-rich smoothies. The secret to my “figure” is never saying no. Although I use restraint, the minute I make something forbidden I want it even more. It’s human nature. So I don’t say no, I just change how much of it I eat, and how often. A potluck or buffet can be particularly challenging, both in terms of choosing the right foods and the right quantities. As many national teamers know, saying no at the Golden Corral’s all-you-can-eat in Augusta, Ga., is pretty tough—especially for a lightweight. Of course, the more we eat organic fruits, plants, and whole grains, the less we want processed, sugary, or heavy foods. Retrain your taste buds and you will retrain your body to crave what it really needs. The bottom line: Don’t take cake off the menu entirely. Just slice it a little differently.
Step 3: Get Uncomfortable
I really believe in doing new stuff. I feel that every day I try, taste, hear, or do something truly outside of my comfort zone, the more interesting life becomes. Dozens of people who registered for December’s Indo-Row Winter Classic Indoor Regatta in Los Angeles were scared to do it. They had no idea what they’d gotten themselves into, but they still took that leap. I can’t tell you how many of them came up to me afterward to thank me. But I thanked them. Why? They modeled the action of doing something new, with no attachment to the outcome. Win, lose, or draw, they all pushed themselves to new limits and achieved more than they thought possible. They did something that made them uncomfortable and were successful just because they did it.
So here’s to leaning into the New Year with short-term goals, whole, clean foods, and living more dangerously. I’ll definitely be taking my own medicine. In fact, my Kettlebells are right here, and with only 10 minutes before the kids wake up, I better hit it!