This time of year is always tricky for those who are making resolutions, especially resolutions related to health and fitness. I understand this as a guy that only five years ago was tackling those same problems with this time of year. But what do I mean exactly by tricky?
The holidays are packed with friend and family gatherings where you are encouraged to binge all the delicacies of the season. There is nothing wrong with this, and I for one am all for enjoying the holidays. However, the message becomes internally contradictory for those who intend to start a New Year's Resolution around their diet or exercising. It's difficult to go from binging on your third slice of pie to hitting the gym five days a week.
The New Year's Resolution mindset will not work for you if this is how you approach it.
I was a New Year's Resolutioner a long time ago, and I'm not hating on people who make them — anything that brings people closer to a healthier and more active lifestyle is great to me. But the reason so many people fail is that they approach their resolutions the right way.
See, New Year's Resolutions will work if you don't have the mindset of a resolutioner.
It is okay to wait to start an official diet if that's what you need to do. I highly encourage, even, writing a workout plan for yourself that you study and adjust as you get closer to your resolution start. However, the way to keep your resolution is not to think of your health and fitness as a huge change.
You have to restructure the way you think about dieting in your mind. Dieting is a long-term game, just like anything work investing your time in. If you're in college, you can't say "oh, well I'm going to these classes for six weeks to try to get an A," because as we all know, college courses are over the course of a long time. The same concept goes with a diet and fitness, so you shouldn't attempt to do something in six weeks and fail, where you can do it over the course of four months and affect real change.
In reality, your health and well-being are the most important things.
Treating your diet or your workout routine as a binge like every other New Year's Resolutioner does is likely to land you in the same spot a year from now — wondering how you're going to attempt to get fit. If you make consistently good decisions with your diet and maintain a workout routine, you will see change. No, you won't be "shredded in only six weeks!" However, it will be something you're proud of and it changes your mentality towards dieting and exercise into something sustainable (coming from a guy who went through this exact change five years ago).
You wouldn't expect to get an A for your classes if you only went to class for six weeks out of four months. Don't expect to make an A on your diet and exercise with the same effort. The long game is the best game, and there's no better time to start than now.