It’s been a crazy year! 2020 will be a year that will be talked about in history books. Life, as we knew it, will never be the same. These past ten months have been filled with uncertainty, fear, frustration, and confusion.
What I have found interesting is how people have responded. I’ve had some patients put on 20-30 pounds during this time. If asked, I am sure they would say that they’ve had limited access to their gym, they have been stress eating, that their normal routine has been disrupted, or give other reasons that they put that weight on.
That part is not the interesting part. The interesting part is that I have had patients that have lost 20-30 pounds and are in the best shape of their lives. If asked, they would likely say that they maximized the extra free time they had from not having to drive to and from work, that they used exercise to burn off excess stress, or that they were fed up with how they looked and felt.
Most people think that their outcomes are dictated by their circumstances. The truth is that our outcomes are dictated by our response to our circumstances. And because most people have very repeatable and predictable outcomes regardless of the circumstances, their response is what needs to change, not the circumstances.
So, if you want to be in a different position at the end of 2021 than you are at the end of this year, you need to lay out a plan. There is no better time to do this than right now, at the beginning of a new year. Actually, right now… one month before the beginning of the new year.
Why now? So that you can hit the ground running once 2021 starts. Most people wait until the last minute and throw out some weak, poorly thought-out goals. They basically rattle off a handful of common, vague goals. One of those goals will be to lose some weight and get in better shape.
I am a huge proponent of setting goals and getting into great shape. There are two significant benefits to starting right now. First, you can set some goals, get them written down, and start reviewing them over the next four weeks. This will allow your brain to start processing what you have written, engaging the parts of your brain that go to work on a subconscious level to help you get what you want. And it allows you to fine tune those goals and make them more crystal clear and detailed.
Second, in regards to working out, losing weight, and getting into shape, starting now allows you start slower and easier. Many people begin on January 1st and overdo it. They get too sore or even injured, and either quit because they hate it, or quit because they physically can’t continue. They start out too fast. Starting now allows you to get into a routine, start slowly enough so that the muscle soreness is gone by the time January comes around, and learn how to do the exercises properly. This is a great time to dabble with the new eating habits you will take up in January. You can see what foods you need to buy, learn how to prepare them, and figure out which dishes you love and which ones you don’t.
So… don’t wait until January 1st to get started. You are much more likely to be successful in 2021 if you start setting your goals, working out, and eating better right now. Utilize these next four weeks. And remember, when setting goals, make sure they are very specific, write them down, and look at them every single day. Let’s not let our circumstances be an excuse for not being successful or fit. Let’s respond in a way that allows us to have our best year yet. Start right now!