New Year, New You.... Or Is It Really?

It's the day after New Year's Eve. You might have had one too many drinks the night before. You're groggy. You have the day off, but it feels just like another day.

But last night, you were on top of the world. Today was supposed to be the start of a brand new you.

Yet, you do the same thing you do every other day. Habits are hard to break.

A drunken promise on New Year's is a lot different than actually changing your life.

Why do almost 100% of resolutions fail? Why are most people in the same spot as they were last year?   I'm not going to try to delve into the inner-workings of the brain like an overly ambitious first year psych student, but I do have an understanding of human habits and thought processes....

First off, most of us make promises to ourselves that are hard to keep. It's easy to over-achieve in your own head, but applying our resolutions to practical life is very difficult. 

How can you fix this?

You know yourself better than anyone else. You can start by making realistic expectations.  Instead of "I'm going to lose 100 pounds", just promise yourself that you'll hire a personal trainer and workout with him twice per week.  Or you'll walk 3 days a week.

"I'm going to lose weight".

What's the problem with the above statement?  For starters, it's too vague.  Be descriptive and precise with your goals for the new year. Have goals that can be measured. With the above statement, technically you could lose half a pound and be considered successful...

Story time!!

Tons of clients come to me asking me to be the drill instructor that they need in their life. After they realize that negative reinforcement is not what they want, they realize that positive yet persistent accountability is what they actually need.

Some clients think they need fear to be successful.  

Danny has lost 50+ pounds training with me. 

"Yell at me! Call me names! Tell me I'm worthless!"

...can be heard in any dominatrix bedroom any given night of the week. But I digress. After training hundreds of clients, I've found only ONE that actually responds to negative reinforcement. It is what it is. 

He likes to hang pictures of himself on the wall from when he was overweight. He likes me to tell him to "Put down the burger or you're going to die of a heart attack one day".  But people like him are a dime a dozen.

"Okay Justin... What are you getting at here?..."

Don't use negative framing as a way to motivate yourself. The worse you feel about yourself, the less self efficacy you have.  Studies show that ashamed, depressed people don't necessarily take initiative in their lives.

Do you want to be in the exact same place next year making the same empty promises to yourself?  Or are you ready to make this the last time you'll ever have to commit to losing weight?  Think about it.

-Greenville's Personal Trainer, Justin Bowers

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