For as long as I can remember, I have attempted to establish a New Year’s resolution. It is something you are supposed to do, right? Let’s pick some big lofty goal, unrealistic or not, and tell everyone what we are going to accomplish during the new year. Lose weight…check, stop drinking…check, be a better parent…check, achieve a better work-life balance…check. Does this sound familiar? You are probably shaking your head yes. Don’t worry, as I said previously I am no stranger to New Year’s resolutions. Of all the years that I’ve tried to uphold a resolution contract to myself, I cannot recall one time that I ever wholly achieved my resolution goals. If I were to take a wild guess, I’d say most people are the same way.

There is always some excuse or some reason why we were not able to accomplish the goal we so energetically established for the new year. A life change, a career change, and unexpected problem or barrier…there is always something, right?  I thought about this a lot today, especially after seeing so many new faces at the gym over the last few days. The gym is always a pleasant place to visit this time of the year. Oodles of new members pack every inch of the floor. They all look determined, motivated, and ready to get to work on achieving their individual fitness goals for the new year.  As the days and weeks, progress, fewer and fewer of the newcomers are present until eventually they are almost all gone. I always wonder what happened; what stopped them from coming to the gym. I never judge as we all have our own lives, our priorities, and make our own decisions.

Often, I think New Year’s resolutions fail because we do not plan correctly and create systems of accountability. It is easy to say you want to improve your physical fitness, lose 10 pounds, run a marathon, or compete in Olympic lifting or bodybuilding, but it will never happen without a tangible and realistic plan.

To put it another way, no bank on the face of the earth will consider giving you a loan to start a business without a strong business plan, and without that credit, your dream of being a small business owner is dashed.  The same can be said for individual fitness goals, or any goal for that matter – without a plan, there is no success.

Let’s say for example your goal is to lose 10 pounds. Bravo! You have a purpose! Now, what practical actions are you going to take to get there? Your answer may be to change your diet and start doing some exercise. Well, that’s good, but you need to go further. Based on your weight loss goal, what food do you need to eat, what is your appropriate macronutrient ratio, and caloric intake? How will your food intake need to be adjusted when you start exercising? How often should you be eating? How much water should you be drinking? How much sleep do you need? How will you keep yourself accountable? As you can see, just a simple goal of losing ten pounds can become quite complicated when we are talking about appropriate planning – and this is where most people become frustrated and eventually fail. I’ve been there…we’ve all been there.

With that said, I want to share with you some of the active steps I am taking to achieve my fitness goals this year. As mentioned in previous posts, my goal is to compete on the bodybuilding stage as a physique competitor in August.

  • Developed an initial 8-week workout routine as part of my build phase (This routine includes 20 minutes of cardio daily, and will be changed up for the second 8 weeks). You can view the workout here: Reignite_8WeekBuild
  • Established time of day workouts will be completed (5:00 a.m. – 6:15 a.m. Monday – Friday; 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Saturday; Rest on Sunday)
  • Regular bedtime established for 9:30 p.m. – no exceptions.
  • Established a caloric intake of 3,090 calories per day using MyFitnessPal aimed at increasing bodyweight .5 pounds per week.
  • Established macronutrient ratio at approximately 45 percent carbohydrates (350g), 30 percent protein (250g), 25 percent fat (88g).
  • Became a member of a local healthy food kitchen. The kitchen prepares food from scratch based on dietary needs and delivers to the home on Tuesday and Friday mornings. To start, I will be receiving a total of 10 custom meals per week to help supplement my food intake during the day.

For the sake of brevity (I know this post is already long), I will stop there, but I think you probably get the point. A plan is crucial to the success of any goal. After your plan is developed, you must make good on your plan as change does not occur without action.

Once you invest the time in your plan and begin executing, your goal will become a priority in your life…and that is the recipe for success. After all, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

For those of you who have a goal for 2018, whether you call it a New Year’s resolution or not, make sure you have a realistic plan comprised of actionable steps to move the dial forward. Carefully designed and deliberate tactics win battles, and when you win battles, you win the war. Have patience, act, don’t quit, and win. Happy New Year!

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