Training: Ditching the New Year Resolution

“It takes 21 days to build a habit…”

– ironguides “Role of Healthy Living” Corporate Health Presentation

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.. The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred… Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

– Generally attributed to German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (but not substantiated)

If you’re like most people, you’re probably going to start thinking about your New Year’s Resolution as the holiday season slips into shopping season at 8:00 am on December 26. As the end of every year rolls around we find ourselves grasping for what it is we need to fix about ourselves and we happily set a date to begin the repairs and reparations. January 1 – yes, dammit, this year I resolve to (fill in the blank) on January 1!

How interesting then that a recent study showed that only 3% of New Year’s Resolutions last the first month! What lies at the heart of this grim statistic? It could be good news: perhaps it takes the average person less than 30 days to discover that “hey, I’m OK with me just the way I am.” That would be a very good thing indeed and would pretty much obviate the need for most of the world’s major religions. I can see that Buddhism would have no role in short order if all it took was a series of failed commitments to change or alter our existence to bring us all into a state of contented being.

January 23rd, 2015

Dear Diary,

Today I found myself to have achieved a lasting state of contented bliss and therefore I have resolved to let go of my earlier resolve formulated January 1 to exercise for 30 minutes three times per week. I’m OK and that’s OK. Today I’m going to rake the leaves.

Hmmm…maybe there’s something to this after all. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. For that reason, we at ironguides strongly encourage our clients to take it just one day at a time in their new training or nutrition programs, until they have made it 21 days in. Generally that’s about when a new training regime becomes a training habit, and eating healthy becomes second nature. Maybe it’s the accumulated effects of endorphins or simple conditioning to a little discipline and routine, but around three weeks in, training or exercise or eating healthy becomes something you just do, not something you must do.

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But that doesn’t explain why only one in thirty three people carries on with their resolution. Perhaps there’s something else underlying the vast rate of “alternative-experience-of-success” in our New Year’s resolve. Could it be that perhaps we’re not really thinking about what’s most important to us? Maybe the short term effects of too much turkey dinner, excessive gift giving or plain old hangovers have clouded our vision of what we truly want.

Let’s face it: If you are waiting until January 1 to resolve to make a change, then in all likelihood that resolution isn’t very important to you! If it were, wouldn’t you start today?

Life is an infinite array of actions, reactions and consequences driven by our desires, needs and compulsions. If we tune in a little bit, we’ll hear right away what we’re truly craving. Heeding that call when it comes means acting now: If you really want to effect change in your life, start now. The power of your desire and the depth of your determination will automatically drive you to effortlessly take the actions to make the changes you are seeking.

Look at it this way: If you wait on making a change that you think you want to make, you are in effect training yourself. How is that? Well, you are training yourself with each passing day to tolerate not doing anything about it. You are habituating yourself to inaction – forming a habit of stalled inertia. Tolerating inaction means accepting not making changes. Every moment is a training opportunity: So seize it, and act upon what you want. Once you do, you rid yourself of the uncertainty of not doing. Having done, you move forward one step farther along in your journey…

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…and guess what?! You end up discovering that your simple resolve netted you some growth. You took action and a weight lifted, energy was released and perspective shifted. You gained confidence! Get over the first hurdle of indecisiveness and you take a leap forward to a realm where you have the opportunity to make a new, even more empowering decision. For example, get rid of the nagging guilt brought on by not eating healthy by starting to eat healthy (or loving yourself for not eating healthy!), and you will find yourself freeing up enormous energies that you can apply to something new, something altogether yet undiscovered. Simplicity. Discovery. Growth. And repeat.

To become that one in thirty three person, don’t resolve to start later – decide and act today. You don’t need rules. You don’t need an adherence to rigid goals and targets. You don’t need a start date and you don’t need a “Resolution.” All you really need are meaningful desires and goals that align with your inner values. Tune into those and all else will follow.

Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

Text by ironguides

ironguides is the leading Lifestyle Facilitation company for athletes of all abilities. We provide coaching and training services, plans and programs, as well training education, health and fitness products to help you learn and live a healthy lifestyle. Come get fit with one of our monthly training subscriptions, event-specific training plans, coaching services, or a triathlon training camp in an exotic location! ironguides also provides Corporate Health services including Corporate Triathlons, Healthy Living retreats and speaking engagements. At ironguides, your best is our business! More info at www.ironguides.net


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