In many ways, the Christmas holidays and New Year is an intense time of year. From celebrating with our loved ones, to indulging and setting well-intentioned resolutions, many of us embark on a whirlwind tour of determination that never seems to last. Life just kicks in, right?
“For many, this is a cycle that repeats year after year”, agrees fitness coach and GranFondo team member Oliver Cartmell. “We’re bombarded with messages telling us that it’s ‘New Year – New You’, and encouraged to take up new activities based on this arbitrary date.
“When you think about it, the core of this idea is fantastic. People are filled with motivation to improve themselves and change their lives for the better. When is that not something to be celebrated and applauded?
Set up to fail
“The problem lies with a system that is set up to fail from the beginning. We’re given the opportunity to spend our money on something that promises change – like a gym membership – but then we find out it doesn’t actually give us anything: we’re the ones that have to get up before work to exercise, or say no to the things the diet book says are suddenly outlawed. And then, what are we really aiming for? We know we want to be fitter, healthier, “happier” – but how do we even know when we get there?
Far beyond the holiday period
“The answer lies in setting measurable and achievable goals that help form part of a lifestyle change (check out SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time). This can range from small differences, such as deciding to take the escalator 3 days out of 5 for a month, to taking on longer term specific challenges that ensure you stay accountable for far beyond the holiday period.
“Write these down and then tell others to keep you accountable and on top of your progress. As you slowly build up (realistic, achievable, measurable), you’ll notice how your head of motivation has spread itself into a way of constant thinking, health and positive choices.
Good intentions into a lifestyle change
“While we can set these goals and make these changes happen at any point in the year, why not harness your motivation that’s in plentiful supply at the moment? After all, the only moment we live in is the now. Registering for an event like a Gran Fondo gives you a healthy, sociable challenge to aim for, and one which you can see your progress via training. Plus, you can’t just wing it – it takes dedication over time, helping spread your good intentions into an actual lifestyle change.”
It’s a journey
Lifestyle change and indeed lifestyle itself is a journey, not a destination. We do not just arrive at a moment or achievement, because the world keeps turning and we must continue to work on ourselves and our connections in this life.
This New Years, why not turn your resolve into a long-term journey of growth and accomplishment that’ll help extend your good intentions into a way of living? It might just be the last New Years resolution you ever make.
RBC GranFondo Whistler is on September 8, 2018, and RBC GranFondo Silicon Valley is on June 23, 2018. The separate 12-week beginner and intermediate training clinics for Whistler are open for registration now.