Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail (Part 3 of 3)

Written by Adam Whitlach
WRRFC Head Trainer


The final segment dealing with the reasons so many people fail their New year's resolution goals revolves around motivation. Too many people need silly reasons to do the things they should be doing regardless of the perceived reward. When people say they need to be "motivated,” I can only assume they are referring to something they might see on a Peloton monitor—like some cheerleader yelling throughout the workout. And in these moments, I’m reminded of this quote: “The fact that you are not where you want to be should be enough motivation.” After all, real motivation can only come from within. Any other external influence (coaches, trainers, self-help books, posters, speakers, etc.) can only impact you so far as you choose to let it. That is, at the end of the day, you are still the on making the choice. That being said, here are some ways of looking at nutrition and training that I believe make motivation easier to find within.


First off, train hard and make no excuses. Exercise has a myriad of health benefits. For someone to say they need motivation to take care of themselves is a clear example of just how easy life is. What's next? A bonus in your paycheck for brushing your teeth? National recognition for picking your kids up from school? Or how about a rebate for paying your bills? Needing external influence to get basic tasks accomplished is a slippery slope. Taking care of yourself is basic stuff and does not require additional accolades. Regardless of the style of exercise you choose, motivation should not be a factor. Get it done!


Next, making real, long-lasting progress does not come by surprise. It's not easy and it’s not sexy. But it is simple. We all need to eat, so why not eat towards your goals rather than away from them? Diet is nothing more than a choice. To lose weight, calorie deficit MUST be achieved. Regardless of whether you want to implement a keto, veganism, intermittent fasting, flexible dieting, weight watchers, zone, Mediterranean, etc., they CAN all work as long as you adhere to the method you choose. I always hear Stan Efferding say, "Compliance is the science," and it’s true. We should have the fortitude to find the method of calorie restriction that works best for us and then stick with it! There is nothing inherently special about any of them. A large percentage of any health claims coveted by a particular diet can also be explained by simply losing weight. The motivational side here is to stop bouncing from one idea to the next. Give the plan a real shot!


All in all, motivation can be a very nuanced idea. On the one hand, it's with us all the time. We are all driven to the things that are important to us. But on the other hand, do you really need motivation to eat right? Exercise? Take a shower? Put gas in your car?


My final thoughts on motivation come from a T-shirt from Cameran Hanes, an ultra marathon runner and back country hunter. The shirt reads, "No One Cares. Work Harder." And at the end of the day, you are the only one who cares if your goals are achieved or not. So own it!

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