How to not suck at life: January 2020

Hey you. Yeah, you. It’s been awhile! Happy 2020! I hope you take this new year and run with the opportunities it provides! Here are a few ways I’ve learned, after some reflection from 2019, on how to not suck at life.

Accept the new gym goers and don’t be a jerk.

Every year around this time the gyms get flooded with  “resolution-ers”. It’s nothing new. You end the past year, determined to make  this  new one “the year” to get fit! We’ve all been there. Unfortunately, more often than not it doesn’t stick. You set big goals/dreams, only to have everything fall apart after a few weeks (What usually happens is that people try to change too much all at once. see my 2019 new years post ) and then, before you know it, it’s next year and you are doing it again. Instead of getting upset that your gym is now overcrowded at prime time (Monday night, anyone?) use it as an opportunity to teach them. Teach them etiquette, don’t despise them. Help them reach their goals. You are an avid gym go-er and have made fitness part of your routine. Awesome. Good for you. Now, spread the love! You know you didn’t get where you are on now your own. Do you remember how hard it was once you first started? The biggest reason most people either stay with a workout routine, or quit, has to do with community. If you have a solid community or support group, you are much more likely to stay the course long-term. So, when it comes to the new people in your gym (or even new people at work, life etc), don’t be a jerk. Teach them how to use the gym and the machines and be friendly and welcoming. Your were new once too. Instead of giving them the death stare because they have been “using” the leg press for 20 minutes (mostly texting, of course) why not introduce yourself and ask if you can “work in” with them? Teach them what it means to share the equipment. Teach them what it means to have a community. You’ll probably grow too, as a result, and might make some new friends along the way. Win-win.

Don’t do too much. Re-organize/Prioritize.

 More is not always better…man, those are easier words to say than to live by! Personally, I am a numbers guy. Once I get a system in place, it’s hard not to “look at the numbers” and see if I can’t do just a little more. Take a HR monitor, or fitness tracker, for example. When I got one of these, it changed my world. Mostly because it was an easy way to tell if I was pushing myself like I thought, or just making excuses. But it also become my Achilles heel. I slowly went from my “normal” exercise routine to seeing how many calories I could burn in a day. Fun for a time, but not every day. After slowly going from 700 to 800 to 900 and eventually 1500 calories a day burned through exercise, I finally realized how much I was over doing it. I would even feel bad about myself if I didn’t “hit” at least 1200 calories a day but, at the same time, I would be super tired and short tempered everyday…only wanting to eat and sleep so I could do it again tomorrow…I was addicted and trapped. It begged the question of “why?” Why am I doing this? Do I really like working out this much, or do I really think it keeps me “healthy”? I wanted to be healthy and strong, but also have a good family/work/life balance. So why was I killing myself working out 2.5 hours a day and not having the energy to do anything else? I got lost in the competition with myself…lost in the “more is better” mantra. Don’t do that. Understand WHY you want to do something before you do it. That will make your life so much better. I am a firm believer that if you want to only train, eat, sleep, repeat, you can. Be a Champion. Kick butt and take names, BUT be able to tell others WHY you are doing it. You want to be the greatest runner of all time? Sweet. You want to lift more than Goliath? Awesome. But tell me why.  Prioritize your life. Think about your goals, what you want, where you want to be. If it is important to you, do it. This new year, take some time and really ask yourself “why?” you want to do, or are doing, the things you do. Think about what you want your life to look like, and prioritize/reorganize your life so that what is most important comes first.

Set new Goals but Keep challenging yourself. Do something that scares you.

The reason I say “but” keep challenging yourself, instead of “and”, is because people tend to set smaller goals after they get comfortable with a new program. It might have been tough to do 20 push ups a day for all of January LAST year, but 30 a day this year isn’t much more difficult, especially if you have been training all year. If you want to keep making progress on yourself, physically, financially, intellectually, etc, you need to keep going out of your comfort zone with your goals! Don’t be afraid to fail at something new; be afraid of being in the same place next year as you are today.

Thank for reading! As always, DFQ!