Thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions – and some motivation

by Ryan Wagner

I wasn’t sure if I would write a New Year’s Resolution themed blog post this year. It just seems so cliche. So expected from a fitness blogger like myself.

Nevertheless, here we are, but I’m not going to talk about goal setting or how to score a great deal on a new gym membership.

The question is: Should you formulate a health and wellness New Year’s Resolution?

Sure. Of course. If you aren’t quite happy with your current level of fitness, then by all means, build a plan to do something about it. And if it happens to be on New Year’s Day, then it’s a New Year’s resolution. However, I think you should consider making a December 20th resolution. Or if you stumble across this blog post on June 6th, 2017 – you can make a June 6th resolution.

You understand what I’m saying, right? Your body doesn’t know what day it is. And you don’t need to wait for a particular day on the calendar, holiday or not, to make a change in your lifestyle or fitness. Just as you don’t need to wait until tomorrow morning or next week on Monday because it’s the start to a fresh week.

What you do need to do is to take action.

And when you do decide to take action, I hope you do it for the right reasons. It’s far too easy these days to flip through a magazine or see something on Instagram or YouTube and aspire to look just like that person.

You see, there’s a lot of money involved in telling us that we’re not fit enough. That we’re overweight or too skinny. That our muscles aren’t toned enough. You know the programs. Some of them claim that you can get fit in 14 minutes a day, others say 12 minutes, 9 minutes! Pick a number and you can probably find a product promising all your wildest fitness dreams achievable within that short window.

If you do decide to make a resolution on January 1st, or today(!), I want to encourage you to really understand why you want to achieve that goal. When you feel like you have an answer, go a little deeper and ask yourself why all over again. Maybe ask why a third time! It’s important to understand the root cause for your desire to be more fitter in order to design the best implementation plan.

Personally, I started working out way back in college to get bigger. As an ectomorph body type, I’ve always been lean. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a six pack, but I was small, at least in my own eyes. I started to believe that in order to get a date or be liked by people, I had to be bigger, more normal-sized (whatever that means). Over the years, fortunately, that thinking has eroded. And in its place, I’ve learned that I honestly enjoy working out. I love the feel of a barbell in my hands, the sound of banging weights, the dynamic of a busy gym, etc.

What does working out and this whole fitness thing mean for you? If you don’t like it one bit, I hope you have the courage in 2017 to try some new things. Maybe it’s pilates or a HIIT class, maybe it’s streaming Daily Burn from your phone onto your TV.

Most of all, I hope you can have an honest conversation with yourself, away from the pitfalls of Instagram and all the glossy hard bodies in the media, about why you want to improve upon your health and fitness. I believe that when you really understand your reasons, you can then implement some truly effective methods for becoming the best version of yourself.

And when you do build out a resolution, remember that with any big challenge, there’s a dichotomy at play:

  1. There is pushing hard and putting the work in. Maybe this is you during the first three weeks of January. You’re getting up on time, you’re at the gym several days a week, you’re finally putting the right things in your shopping cart at the store (because you’ve always known what the right things were, right?), etc.
  2. But then there is also the patience. Patience with a capital “P” comes into play when you’ve been pushing hard for four or six weeks, you look in the mirror and you don’t see any difference. You see the same version of yourself. The version that you didn’t like and wanted to change in the first place.

I think that most people are at one of these two extremes. They either push it really hard in the beginning, but maybe don’t have the patience to endure. So, they fizzle out after a couple weeks or months.

Or, you’re too damn patient and you keep waiting for that perfect opportunity. For good weather or a gym membership to go on sale. Or worst of all, you’re waiting for “the right time to start.”

But the people that really succeed with their fitness and end up changing their lifestyles permanently are the ones that are pushing on both fronts. They are out there grinding and putting in the effort, but they are also being patient. Having faith in the process. These are the folks that win and make the changes.

Whenever you decide to make your resolution – I hope you do it with a clear understanding of why you want to.

Then…push on both fronts.


By Ryan Wagner

Thoughts on New Year's Resolutions - and some motivation by