Don't give up! Sadly, January is the time of year when the gym parking lots clear up, our exercise equipment gets used as laundry storage, and our morning run gets erased with a quick tap of our snooze bar. The momentum of our resolutions can lose a lot of steam around this time of year and it’s easy to see why. Many of us have taken on some big goals for the New Year and after a few quick weeks of hard work, we’re less than thrilled with the results. But Rome was not built in a day (as they say), so it’s time to get back on track!
So you took a day off from running…or ate a morning Danish…so what? Don’t let a down day or week mark the end to your fitness goals. Nobody’s perfect and the key to any success is not perfection…but rather persistence. Everyone gets knocked down once in awhile…the victors are the ones that get on their feet again!
The fitness gains we seek come from repetition and not a single workout. So let’s say that you did push-ups and crunches every morning for a week and then quit. That’s 7 days of calisthenics. Now let’s say that you start back with something a bit more manageable, like push-ups and crunches 3-4 mornings a week. That’s over 180 days of calisthenics if you can re-start and keep it going through the end of the year! Most resolutions fail because we are overly aggressive and leave no margin for error. And when we miss a day or take a needed rest, we quit out of self-disgust and frustration. Don’t give up so easily!
I’m following a new marathon training plan this year that involves a lot more speed work and intensity than I’m used to. It’s kicking my butt…but it’s just what I need. And there are many chilly and rainy mornings that I lie in bed and torture myself with debate. And I’ll be the first admit that the first mile always stinks, but it’s that boost of energy and confidence in Mile 2 that gets me out of bed and lacing up my shoes. Have I followed every day of the training plan? NO! Why? Because some days I need a rest…and some days I just plain wimp out. But I figure if over the course of this 18-week plan, I take a few days off per month, I will still have run over 90% of the workouts…that’s an A, right?? ;-).
Don’t give up. Your health and fitness resolutions are too important to you, so get back on your feet and try again! If you’re still going strong…good for you!! Keep it up – you’re gaining momentum. There are plenty of workouts between us and our summertime goals. Each day is an opportunity that can take us one step closer to where we want to be. It’s January 15th…don’t throw in the towel…get back in the ring!
You can find this article and other motivational fitness information in the January 2008 article of The Bullhorn. You can sign up for this free monthly e-zine below.