Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Year's Resolutions?

We have all heard what everyone is going to change this year and how they are going to be so much better. I always think its weird making new year's resolutions as really we should be changing all the time. The only thing I think is good about New Year is you remember when you started and how long you have been going. Most people make resolutions they are destined to fail before they even get off the ground. Its no fault of their own they simply haven't put enough thought into it. Imagine you take weight loss as an example. You say I am going to lose weight this year. Why not work out how much you are going to lose, set milestones so you have something to work towards. How are you going to do it? Will you use a personal trainer? Change your diet? Join a gym? Think about a reward system being put in place for when you hit these milestones. I don't mean go and eat a McDonalds, it might simply be buy a new expensive top in a smaller size. Don't make it too expensive as it maybe won't fit you when you hit the next milestone. In fact, thinking about it if you want a McDonalds then make that your reward as it is all about you and what motivates you.

The hard part is going to be making the change. Some say it takes up to a month to create or break a habit. Habits or behaviours are funny things and we each have a lot of them that we probably need to change if we find that our life is not going the way we want it to. Some behaviours we will have had since child hood and others are much newer. Our behaviours can come from the culture we grow up in, early experiences, peer groups, the media and role models. Now these behaviours we want to change are not fixed, we might think they are but we can change them and we can change them at any point we want to. If for example, you can't stop eating junk food, and you need to stop doing it in order to achieve weight loss, what can you do? Well sit down and think would you eat this food all the time? The answer would be no as you understand that long term it would not be good for you. So we can start to change how we think about the food. We understand that the food is not nutritionally great for us but it does provide us with some comfort and pleasure. Then think of other things that give you comfort and pleasure when you eat, try and find something more natural. So already you are finding an alternative.

Imagine how you want to look and then understand that you cannot look like this if you continue to eat the junk. How bad do you want to look like that image, if that is stronger than the want to eat the junk then you are on to a winner. Its always going to be hard to change a pattern in your life but it can be done. I am going to write a longer piece on changing behaviours but right now we are looking for some realism and a fast fix to get you what you want. I used to be addicted to eating Chinese takeaways. I could easily be eating about four a week and this was only up until a few months ago. I then realised I couldn't go on like this and went to change it. Now I had been doing it for the past four years at least so it was part of me. I just thought, come on Marcus, clean up the diet and see if your performance increases or you lose some weight. Well I wanted that more than the food and after a week or so it was easy. I think I was craving the MSG in the food and now when I have a takeaway I really don't enjoy it, which is something I never thought I would say.

What we want to change or learn is called the outcome.  Once we've established what this is, we are going to break it up into more manageable, achievable chunks. We all want to be successful so making small gains rather than one giant one will help us on our journey. Then we get set to take action. Let people know what you are planning to do, the more the better. Hopefully they will encourage you when things get tough or it might act as an way for you not to give in as you feel like you will be letting people down. At the end of the day you can only do what you can do and we all make mistakes. That is why pencils have rubbers, but you just need to pick yourself up and get back on the horse.
Nothing in life is easy and everything comes at a sacrifice. You decide what you want and how bad you want it. Don't let yourself be one of the people who try and fail through poor planning. Stick at it, work hard and reap the rewards. Once you start making small changes you honestly won't be able to stop. Life is meaningless without change and you will see that everything happens for a reason. Its a bitter pill to swallow sometimes but learn and move forward quickly, we are dying every day so lets make some massive changes in our lives and others lives and see how it all turns out for us.

This year I am planning on learning to cook more as I'm sick of chicken and salad, increase my understanding of Olympic lifting, learn my ground game from Scott Mellia, change some personal behaviours. This is my initial batch that I will start on and then develop and then add to. So sit down, plan out the changes and just get tore right into it. If you make a mistake learn from it, cowboy up and get moving forward again. You get one shot at life make the changes now and don't mess up and then feel you have to wait until 2014 to change.


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