Honestly, I hate that crap.
It's not like the turn over from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1 is a magic portal to a new universe. We're still the same people with our awesomeness and our not-quite-perfect-nesses. Technical term.
So rather than making grad gestures all at once that will fall flat, lets focus on the little things that can make you feel better. A process that can last all year.
I'm going to focus on nutrition here for an example
There are a bunch of people that will do something extreme like the Whole30 starting in the new year. My issue with these challenges is they basically set you up for failure. They ask so much of you, so many habits to change, and in such a short period of time, you're not going to have the tools and comfort to have lasting change towards success.
Many people that do Whole30's also have these "YAY WE'RE DONE" dinner feasts with fellow challengers at the end. That's not a healthy mental approach to nutrition.
Try this to start:
- Weeks 1&2 - Just track your food consumption. By merely tracking, often time people begin to lose weight because it takes the mindlessness out of the action.
- Weeks 3&4 - Find 1-2 more meals a week that you can make at home. Whether that's making more for dinner and taking it for lunch the next day or adding in food prep to your weekend, find either a couple of dinners or lunches that you can make yourself. Keep tracking, and don't worry about calories yet.
- Weeks 5&6 - Now start looking at macro nutrients. Most people don't get enough protein (0.5 - 0.8 g per pound of body weight, based on activity level). Find a place where you can add more protein. This can be meat, greek yogurt, tofu, whatever. This will help you feel sated for longer.
- Weeks 8&9 - Now start looking at over all calories. Is there somewhere you can add more veggies to boost volume and cut back on denser foods? Without touching your protein sources, ideally.
Notice the trend here. One smaller pice of the puzzle about every two weeks is added. Why every two weeks? First, because when we are gung-ho and want to make all the changes NOW, we tend to over exhaust our willpower stores. We want a little time for each to become something of a habit before we move on to the next.
Second, and this is only in my experience, when I'm making a change, the first week feels like a total clusterfuck. We're creatures of habit, and even small changes can rock our patterns. The second week suddenly starts to feel more natural.
I wound't shorten the time frame, but some people might need to wait three weeks before adding a new habit in. And that's totally fine! We're playing the long game here.
The same approach can be taken with fitness.
Starting small, such as taking a walk once a week. Or maybe hiring a trainer but only going once a week. Once you start to feel stronger, the idea of taking that extra walk doesn't sound like so much effort. Maybe even appealing as recovery.
But remember to take it in small chunks. It's very very very easy to feel motivated to make too many too quick. Dole out your motivation like you dole out money from your bank account.
And by December, I hope you can look back and be really proud.
And now time for some shameless plugs. If you need help getting started on your fitness goals, both United Barbell and San Francisco CrossFit have excellent and caring coaches that will work with you. We'll meet you where you are and help you take the steps necessary to move towards where you want to be.
No need to commit to CrossFit classes, we know they aren't for everyone. No need to commit to multiple sessions a week, get started at your own pace.