New Years is coming up. We have 29 more days left in this ridiculous year and it’s time for the annual tradition of both looking at what we have accomplished and what we will achieve next year. Next month everyone will begin acting upon the latter and start doing things that are out of routine in order to achieve new successes.
According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, 8% of people actually stick to and complete their goals while 80% quit before February.
Why does this happen?
Well for most people it is going to be a lack of motivation. We can all get down on ourselves about discipline and mindset, but this isn’t helpful and just repeats the cycle. In reality, if we are motivated correctly we will stay disciplined and be more likely to get to the habit forming zone of about 21 days and stick with it the rest of the year. Even better, the rest of our lives!
With 55% of New Years Resolutions being health & fitness related, I figure why not share my fitness journey and how I stayed motivated to keep going.
The best way to stay motivated is to start with a “why?”
Why I Started Working Out.
As a kid I was moderately active. I would have soccer practice most days of the week during the school year, golf with my parents, and then sit around playing video games the rest of the time.
About the time I hit middle school, my parents went through a divorce and I stopped playing sports as much. Don’t get me wrong, I would play sports still, just it wasn’t near as much. Weekends would be spent doing homework and trying to slam through video games as I bounced between houses. Being sedentary became easy.
With my father slowly sinking himself out of the picture in my life due to his opiate addiction and one day disappearing all together, my momma decided to invite me to join her for a personal training session she had with a trainer named Dave.
I would go every Sunday with her and realize how exhausting it was to workout. I hated feeling like I wanted to throw up during the workout, but liked how I felt after when the endorphin rush hit (that relaxed feeling you have a couple minutes after you stop exercising).
I would go once a week with her until the summer right before high school when I decided to go 4 times a week and worked with Dave each day. He kept me honest to my schedule, kept be encouraged when the workouts got tough, and always reinforced progress when credit was due. Having that coach at all times really helped me find a rhythm and actually look forward to the pain I was about to put myself through every day to get stronger.
Why I continued.
During that time in high school my goals were of course, have abs. It is the most common goal I hear from men when they walk into my gym. I worked hard and got them. But, what do you do from there? Just maintain abs the rest of your life? Exercise becomes like brushing your teeth at that point, just stale and boring. When something is like that it becomes easy to brush off because you feel like you have to do it rather than want to do it.
I went through that phase hard in high school. It sucked. I didn’t feel like I was getting any where and just had to go in so I didn’t get fat. Sure enough it became easy to miss one or two workouts.
When I hit college, a roommate and I decided to look up crazy workout videos to see if we could do something that would light a spark. Sure enough, we found a CrossFit Games recording from the 2013 Games workout “Cinco 1 & 2.” (You can read more about that in our last blog post HERE).
I started incorporating CrossFit benchmark workouts into my training and just did the movements I felt I could do like tire flips and squats. Then while I was at the University of Minnesota, a trainer who led a gym’s version of CrossFit style classes, called “Alpha,”said I would do awesome at it and invited me to join him for a CrossFit WOD. From there I realized that I wanted to not just do the movements, but I wanted to be amazing at them.
My why from then on until now has been to be the best all around athlete I can be. I want to make the CrossFit Games. I have plenty of mini goals like hitting 500# on a back squat, getting 30 unbroken ring muscle ups, hitting accurate 350 yard drives, and holding an L-Sit for more than 30 seconds.
Why I shared all this.
At the start I just worked out once a week. It took over a year to get me to go to the gym more than once a week. 4 years after that I was going in 4 times a week. 2 years after that I started going every day. A year after that I started caring about my diet more and going 6 times a week to focus more on growth and longevity. It took 8 years for me to get to the starting point of the routine I am at now. 8!
When you see someone who is at the stage of fitness you wanna be at, they have walked the path you are about to go down. They can create shortcuts for you. We have seen the edges of the trail and know where the bears are.
Each stage of training also had someone help me. I wouldn’t have gone to the gym if it weren’t for my mom. I wouldn’t have kept working out if it weren’t for Dave. I wouldn’t have found CrossFit if it weren’t for my roommate. I wouldn’t have realized my potential if it weren’t for that trainer in Minneapolis, MN.
Your health and fitness is a journey. It takes small steps, friends, coaches, and, last but not least, you! Your network can keep you motivated, realistic, and consistent with your goals. Without that network, we would all become part of the 92% that don’t keep their New Years resolutions.
If you are a part of Vegvisir CrossFit you have already started your journey and are taking those small steps with a community invested in your success. If you are reading this and want to grow that 8% by being the next person who finally lost that weight and got their first pull up, come on in. We would love to help you!