New Year, New Energy
It’s New Year season, which means people are thinking about resolutions for 2018. As a coach myself, I am always excited about the thought of people starting a brand new health and fitness journey! Statistically speaking, these journeys may not last until February but I’m not really into that statistic. What I am into is helping newbies beginning a lifelong health journey, starting right now! I’ve found for myself and many of the women I work with, new habits becoming increasingly harder until they’re truly solidified as a habit. Cooking a breakfast with a variety of macronutrients is a hard habit to start if you’re used to eating the same grab and go cereal every day. Changing your weekday routine from work, couch, Netflix and Mexican take-out to work, gym, kale salad and bed early is a drastic overhaul.
There are many, many articles online on how to not fail at your resolutions, but I would like to reframe the way we even make those resolutions! In my quest to help the world get stronger, I sought out the 2018 goals of women who have been practicing strength already: the Girls Gone Strong Facebook group! I simply asked to share their goals for 2018, and in typical GGS fashion, I was inundated with thoughtful, hopeful and creative answers. I’ve been doing my best to answer each and find out a little more information about their particular goal. The one common thread I’ve noticed is that these strong women are “leveling up”. Women who mention they want to lift 5x a week are already lifting now. Women who have weight goals are already following a nutrition plan now!
For brand new resolution-ers, this may seem disheartening but fear not! Perhaps the solution does not necessarily lay in beating yourself into submission, waiting for the habit to take a firm hold in your life, but rather, consciously giving energy to a new practice.
Giving energy to something means you are making an effort to do something you may not have consistently done before. Perhaps the healthier habit in eating a more nutrient packed diet is saying “right now, I’m going to spend a little time grocery shopping”. Perhaps tomorrow’s energy can be spent making a few meals. Maybe after eating a couple of those nutrient dense meals, you may feel a little more energy and want to search for new recipes…. On the flip side, it may have been a really tough day at work and you only have a small bit of energy left to give to your resolution. If a previous habit may have been to order take out, perhaps your bit of energy could be spent on choosing a rotisserie chicken on the way home. Knowing that 100% home-cooked meals would be nice, but today’s energy must be spent elsewhere.
Giving energy is admitting that something is required of you. If you are not historically a gym go-er, working gym time into your schedule is going to require you to spend less time elsewhere. While you probably see the benefits it will give you, it is important to note that it will require energy. Meal prep and eating nutrient dense food instead “comfort food” is going to take some energy at first. Again, I’d be willing to bet that you’ll start feeling that energy give back to you within the first little bit.
The aforementioned strong women of GGS understand this: going from Crossfit 3x/week to 5x/ week means that more energy is given to it, and they already know the energy that is required of 3x/week. Perhaps reframing the thought of resolutions may increase their likelihood to succeed. Even when we are deciding our goals, may we consider the energy required.
Energy based resolution: I am going to practice, give time and energy to my pull-up goal for 2018.
Suddenly this feels a little less daunting than “I have to do my banded pull ups today or it’s not going to be a habit and I won’t get to my goal!”
Giving energy to a pull-up goal could be doing a training session from Neghar’s Pull Up Queen program. It could be getting off the couch for 30 seconds to hang from the bar. Have you ever noticed that when you are loving your program and feeling the success, it becomes easier and easier to continue on that path? Is that because working out is now a habit, or because you are getting more energy than you are giving? My suggestion for a successful 2018 is this: when deciding your goals, consider the amount of energy it will require. Dedicate a little bit of energy towards that goal every day. As you see the progress, allow more and more energy to be given, and evaluate the energy in return.
Here’s to a healthier, happier and stronger 2018!