Don’t Make Resolutions This Year

Last year at around this time I wrote about how to make resolutions that stick, and after reflecting on my 2016 resolutions, I did do a pretty good job at sticking up with them.

But this year I’m trying out something different.

With all goals, big and small, there are going to be some that you achieve, and some that take longer than you thought, and others that you just flat out don’t achieve and never do. And sometimes this can be pretty daunting and even disheartening to think about.

That’s why this year I’m not making any resolutions. 

Instead, I’m choosing one quote (and possibly a big word or mantra) to live by for the year. And that quote is:

“Leave not for tomorrow that which can be done today”

The reason why I am choosing this quote is because it’s short and to the point. We so often get caught up in saying “I’ll just do that tomorrow” that it never gets done.

This quote is one I can repeat to myself whenever I am falling into this habit and snap me back into it so that I don’t procrastinate, and so I don’t leave work off for later when I am able to do it today.

Reenforcing a quote is much easier to do and to keep yourself accountable to than a list of goals or resolutions for a whole year. They’re hard to keep track of, they’re hard to set, and often times they never happen.

Keeping a quote on the top of your mind, writing it down at your desk, and repeating it to yourself whenever you need it is simple, easy, and effective, helping you live a stronger, healthier, and happier life in the new year.

What will your quote or mantra be for 2017? Let me know in the comments below!

Training Like Olympians

The Olympics have been over for about a week, but they’re definitely not out of mind. After spending hours watching different athletes in different sports compete at the highest level, I started to think a little bit about how I could accelerate my progress and how I could advance my level of skill, specifically in powerlifting. And what I learned most was something I think we can all learn from and use to help us all progress and become stronger, healthier, and happier.

There’s a reason why Olympic athletes become Olympic athletes. And while genetic predisposition plays a large part in this, what also makes them Olympians is the amount of time that each competitor spends perfecting their craft and skill.

And while we may not have 3 hours a day to dedicate to lifting weights, running, or any physical activity, what we must make time to craft our skill, to perfect our movements so that we don’t become injured and therefor incapable of performing them in the first place. And a huge part of achieving this this is by the proper use of warmups and stretches.

On and off camera before an Olympic event, athletes are taking their time warming up, stretching, and getting themselves physically and mentally prepared to compete. This may last for an hour leading up to their event. But these routines allow them to run faster and lift more weight than anyone in the world.

Now we all aren’t going to be breaking any world records (or maybe we will), but we can train like Olympians. In order to stay healthy and compete at the highest level, Olympic athletes understand the importance of warming up and cooling down. When we only have maybe an hour a day to exercise, we often skip this step and jump right into exercise to save time and get straight to work.

But why would we do this if we know that the most elite athletes all around the world would never skip their warm up routine because it is so crucial to injury prevention and exercise preparedness?

If this step is crucial to any Olympic athlete who has been able to achieve amazing athletic feats, that must mean that it is even more important to the every day gym goer, since we are far less skilled and practiced as these athletes are. 

Olympians train nearly every day in some capacity. And every day they warm up and take care of their bodies so they don’t become injured. For those of us who don’t train every day of our lives, we are even more susceptible to injury because we don’t have the time to perfect our form and to practice tirelessly to perfection. Which is why the warm up is even more important to us regular athletes.

Most of us will never be the fastest runner in the world, or the heaviest lifter, but no matter how fast we can run or how much we can lift, taking the time to warm up and stretch like an Olympian will allow you to continue training and keep yourself injury free so that you will continue to grow stronger, instead of rushing into things, trying to go too hard, and then injuring yourself every 6 months and setting back your progress because you didn’t take your warm up seriously and with the mindset of a world class athlete.

Warm up like an Olympian, because they know the important role it has in keeping them healthy. And if you only have an hour to exercise, prioritize warming up and stretching before you touch a single weight because in the long term, a healthy and more mobile body will get you much farther (literally and metaphorically) than an injured and broken one. This will allow you to live a strong, healthy, and happy life for the longest you possibly can.

How to Make Resolutions That Stick

It’s a new year and a time when everyone makes a resolution or two that last about a month. A lot of these resolutions have to do with living a healthier life and being more active or eating healthier. With whatever resolution you may have, I’m here to help make it stick and actually achieve it. Here are 4 things you can do to make sure you tackle your 2016 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Set Specific GOALS

The reason why a lot of resolutions fail is because they are just resolutions. What we really should do is set year goals. Resolving to “be healthier” in 2016 is too vague and not motivating. Setting a goal to “lose 2 pounds a month for 12 months” is a better way to keep yourself accountable. There are short term progress goals, but year-long end results.

Setting a goal to “be healthier” or “go to the gym more” is easy to quit. If you go to the gym for the month of January, when work is still in holiday mode and everyone is working hard and seemingly motivated at sticking to their resolutions, it seems like there is no stopping you. But when that January kick ends, work or school starts to pick up, it’s easy to drop your vague and goal-less resolution. The beauty of being specific and creating year long goals means that it’s okay that your progress fluctuates. Using the example above, wanting to lose 2 pounds a month means 24 pounds in the year. So you know that if you only lose 1 pound in February, you know you have to make up that pound in March.

These types of goals keep you accountable and allow you to track your progress with hard numbers.

2. Write Them Down

Every year, I put a note in my phone that lists “Everything I Will Achieve in [insert year]”. Throughout the year, as I complete some of the short term and long term goals, I put a checkmark next to it. It helps me see what I’ve completed and reminds me what I must do and accomplish next. Below is a snippet of what I’ve got coming for 2016, and I encourage you do to the same.


3. Don’t Try to Conquer the World

Keep your goals manageable – don’t set out to lose 10 pounds in 1 week. Set realistic goals that will encourage you. Attainable goals are self-motivating. When you achieve what you set out, you’ll want to continue towards your ultimate year-end goals.

Remember: Slow and steady wins the race.

4. Make them FUN – Throw a Personal/Silly One in There

The goals that you set for 2016 ultimately must be ones you can achieve and ones that will be FUN. If you’re not having fun on your way to achieving your goals then you’ll never actually complete them. Nothing you do should feel miserable. It may be difficult, but knowing what you want and working hard to get after it, all while doing it in a way that is most fun will keep you going.

Do some with a friend to keep yourself motivated and accountable, so instead of losing 10 pounds yourself or reading 1 book a month yourself, work out or read with a friend who has that same or similar goal. It’ll make it a social and fun activity to do together and will ensure you stick with it.

I also recommend having a silly/strictly fun goal for the new year. Instead of making all of your goals about fitness or weight loss or being a better friend, do something for you, too. Set out a goal to make your own Halloween costume from scratch this year, make it a goal to finally watch all of the movies on your “must see” list. While these should not make up your entire list of goals for 2016, they’re easy ones that will be fun and keep you motivated to achieve your other goals.

So good luck and have a happy, healthy and successful 2016.