THE DEFENSE REPORT
HOW THESE YEARLY GOALS REALLY CAN WORK IN DEFENSE OF RESOLUTIONS I n the past, I wasn’t one for New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, whenever someone asked me what mine were going to be come Jan. 1, I’d respond with something flippant like “I think I’m going to pick up smoking.” While these anti-resolutions were good for a laugh, they certainly weren’t helping me stay healthy. But, when I finally did decide to give the real New Year’s tradition an honest try, it changed my life. I’m not even sure I was that serious when I declared it, but one year I decided I was going to cut out all fast food. Type 1 diabetes had already made my health and diet a hard enough challenge as it is — Big Macs and fries weren’t helping things get any easier. Still, a statement like “no fast food for one year” seemed like such a stereotypical resolution that I never thought it would stick. And then it did. I think part of the trick was actually starting in December. I felt like I had a running start and a leg up on the competition. That positive momentum carried me through January, and by the end of the month, I felt so proud of my streak that I actively didn’t want to break it. By the end of the following year, it was clear to me that this tradition I’d been mocking most of my life really could make a difference. So, I decided to get serious. Three years ago, I resolved that I was going back to the gym. Once again going for that running start, I reentered the fitness world on Dec. 15, 2016, and boy, was I in for a rude awakening. Sure, I was having diabetic shoulder problems to begin with, but across all my workouts, it became abundantly clear I wasn’t 25 anymore. It became clear to me that every single workout was going to be tough, even the ones that didn’t sound impressive on paper. But I made myself go even on those days when I really didn’t want to. Looking back, I’m so glad I did.
feeling better; it’s helped me live a longer, more comfortable life despite my health challenges. But how did I stick to this goal for the past three years when New Year’s resolutions fail so often? I think it all has to do with the approach. From cutting out fast food to heading to the gym, consistency was always what was most important to me. There will be good days and bad days, but the more you stick to the actions associated with your goal, the easier it will become to keep it up. These days I actually get annoyed on the rare occasion I can’t make it to the gym — it feels like a disruption of my whole routine. But where do you find the energy to keep up that early consistency in the first place? For me at least, I’ve found it’s best to always start with your end goal in mind. Ask yourself what you want to achieve rather than what you want to do. This helps you keep your eye on the prize and push past the in-the-moment annoyances that come with establishing a new routine. And last but not least, make sure the end goal is something you really and truly want for yourself. I have a sneaking suspicion that so many New Year’s resolutions are abandoned because, in the end, people don’t really want to change. Don’t go setting a goal just because it sounds positive or because you think it’s what you should want for yourself. Take the time to look inward and find a life change that genuinely excites you.
Here’s to the future,
Today I can leg press 400 pounds and bench 250, and I feel better than I have in years. This resolution didn’t just get me looking and
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