We all start the new year with the same resolve: It’s time to get my life back together and get fit, get organized and take care of me. Then the first week of January passes and you’re knee-deep in pizza, drowning in unread emails, and feel like a failure.
Am I hitting a nerve here? That’s because despite our best intentions, we often don’t have the knowledge to help us find the correct path to success.
We aim big - the idea of dropping 40 pounds sounds great - but how and where does one start? Maybe we should focus on a diet and exercise routine that will work for our own needs, instead of buying into click-bait news stories and Facebook updates of how we should look to be able to mingle with the beautiful people of this town.
I’m no self-help guru, but here are a few suggestions to help turn new year fails into new year victories.
Set realistic goals
Everyone joins a gym after the holidays. Great! Now what? Many people get into the gym for their first week and feel lost and out of place. It can be intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing or why you’re doing it.
Set goals and do yourself a favor: ask for a tour of the facility and explanation of the equipment and how to use it. If you can afford it, ask if there are personal trainers available for some one-on-one coaching. Check out our list of top personal trainers in San Diego, here.
If your goal is to get buff, maybe you don’t want to spend an hour swimming laps in the pool. If your goal is to improve your cardio, maybe go easy on the weightlifting. My point is, set your goal and make sure you start slowly and keep your expectations within reason.
“Many people quit before they even give themselves a chance to succeed,” said Ana Mendiola, a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness on Balboa Avenue. “If people just stick with it and get into a routine, everything starts to get easier and more familiar.”
Don’t try to be perfect
It’s OK to be human and make mistakes. It happens in other areas of your life, and it’s going to happen with your workouts and your diet too, so don’t beat yourself up over it.
Plan the first few weeks of your new diet on a Monday through Friday regime and keep your weekends as “fun” days. I’m not talking about a free-for-all here, just allow yourself to enjoy a beer, or an evening with friends. It will be a test on your self-control but that’s something you need to understand will be with you the rest of your life - now is a good time to start dealing with it.
An old friend of mine always had a great motto: “I’m down with my demons.” The best thing you can do is learn what challenges your successes in life and find a way to coexist with them.
As a lifelong San Diegan, Ken Lewis has surfing and ocean life in his DNA. A 30-year surfer himself, Lewis has worked in the surf and skate industry for most of his career. Send him thoughts about the surfing and fitness worlds to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Instagram @hanger18.