Thursday, January 2, 2014

January, 2. Because...

I've noticed over the years that people have become increasingly negative over the concept of New Year's Resolutions. It's (mostly) for good reason, too. It's a ridiculous concept to think that you can put a new calendar on the wall and become a new person over night. People come up with all kinds of different lists, but typical common ones you see everywhere are:

Get fit / lose weight.

Quit smoking.

Volunteer more.

Keep a journal.

and so on, and on, and on.

These are all well and good resolutions, and who knows, this might be the year you actually keep at least one of them. New Year's Resolutions have become either a list of jokes, or a gym full of people on January 1 that looks abandoned by Valentine's Day.

My friend Elaine recently put up her 2014 "goals" - and I like that. She's got a different mindset about how to approach her lifestyle change. One, she started months ago hitting the gym and doing a whole lot more than just cardio. She's deadlifting, working out the shoulders, legs, etc. She has the whole routine mapped out, and for 2014 has set goals. Not resolutions, but goals. In her words,

"Goals are measurable. If you don’t reach them you can say you got 80% there and you will do better next time."
Based on that mindset, I think there can be real progress. I'm not going to get anywhere just walking around for 30 minutes a day. You have to build muscle. I have no idea what I can do in the gym. It's not a lot, except my legs... I think I can leg press over 500 lbs maybe 600, but that doesn't get me anywhere. It's time to build arms, shoulders, chest, calves, etc. I'm never going to get past the first obstacle in the Spartan Race unless I'm actually strong enough to propel my body through them.

This is one of Elaine's actual goals - "At least one pull up with a wide grip from a dead hang." Oh yeah a pull up, something I could never do. I weigh almost 300 pounds. But check this out, "December 2013 status: I can lat pull down 100 lbs for 6 reps. That needs to go to 130 lbs before attempting a pull up." - See... there's a total structure here. She knows what she can lift, and what she needs to get to before her arms will be capable of lifting her body weight.

It's time to reassess some structure here, I think.