Resolutions or Anti-Resolutions?

What’s your New Year’s resolution?

Well, for me, it’s to carry on as 2019 finished; enjoying my journey as a LiftOff coach, being coached by people who inspire me and my personal life continuing to flourish. That said, there are certainly things I do in my life which perhaps I should cut back on or do more of. So should this be the focus of my resolution setting instead? Should it be resolutions or anti-resolutions?

How is a resolution different to an anti-resolution?

Commonly, resolutions are born out of thoughts of what we ‘should’ be doing. How many people actually ask themselves whether it’s a genuine desire or something we feel we should impose on ourselves to meet an expectation that is often just unrealistic? Perhaps the better question to ask is “what should I stop doing?”. This is the anti-resolution approach. It can often provide a more effective path to achieving what you really want.

The resolution pit-falls

Now, we know it can be difficult to add a new challenge or goal into our lives. This is why I think many of us fall short of the resolutions we set ourselves. For us to succeed in our resolutions (and it’s the same with any new goal we set ourselves at any point of the year) it needs to be placed as a high priority. If that list of priorities already contains family, social life, work, other hobbies and commitments, it can become very stressful trying to make room for a new goal. This can be especially the case when it comes to wanting to improve our health and lifestyle.

Sounding familiar?

If this is something that resonates with you then I may have some suggestions which could help. If you set yourself a goal of going to the gym regularly but counter-act that by continuing a poor diet or unhealthy lifestyle, the changes you are seeking may not take place. This comes back to the resolutions -v- anti resolutions debate. Take an honest view of your lifestyle first and ask the question “does my current lifestyle align with my goal/resolution?” If it doesn’t then other things may need to be addressed before you begin. This is where the anti-resolution comes in, the “what should I stop doing” part. It could mean cutting down on alcohol consumption, eating less comfort food, giving up smoking, going to bed an hour earlier, walking more throughout the week…you get the idea.

Support Network

It’s important to realise that you are far less likely to succeed in eradicating bad habits like smoking, drinking or binging on comfort food by doing so suddenly, overnight. A more realistic approach would be to cut it out of your daily life slowly and progressively. You may need to ensure you have a solid support network around you before you embark on such a mission. This will be important at those times when your motivation or will power feels like it’s heading out of the window. You may want to consider seeking help or guidance from a professional in that particular field, be that a coach, counsellor or medical advisor.

Resolutions or anti-resolutions – my challenge to you…

If you want to improve your health and are considering joining a gym, I would ask that you firstly do the following:

  • Write down 5 things you are going to cut down on/add in to your lifestyle which would align with your goal of improved health.
  • Stick with these things while you begin your fitness journey.
  • With new things, add them in slowly! Don’t go full-on, 110%, blasting out of the gates! It’s a process which requires patience and time to show results (I’m talking years potentially) so keep it simple and measurable to you.
  • The same applies to those things you need to cut down on. The ‘cold turkey’ approach rarely works unless you have unwavering motivation or a will of iron!
  • Consider using a coach. They can give you advice and monitor your progress towards your goals. It can also help to feel accountable to someone for your actions!

My final though is this: resolutions, anti-resolutions or any new goal can be set at anytime of the year! If the festive period left you feeling too wiped out to even think about what you want from the year ahead, give yourself time to think through what’s important to you and set your own timetable.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised here or would like particular  help setting and reaching your fitness goals, feel free to contact us on our website or through our Instagram @liftoffgym

Coach Sam Saunders