The news today is full of New Years’ resolution talk, along with grim stats about how few of us stick with a resolution even a month, much less a year. Reasons? Unrealistic, vague plans like “get in shape” rather than “Do 3 sets of 30 reps Monday, Wednesday and Friday.” Asking way too much of yourself too soon. Not accepting the old “no gain without pain” truism.
I don’t have any extraordinary new advice on Resolution Syndrome–in fact, expecting some new, (and always easy) formula is part of the problem. But based on some fairly successful efforts at exercise and weight loss, I’ll add this experience-tested truth:
Most of us just don’t stay with any resolution long enough to get out of the What I’m Missing stage and get into the What I’m Getting stage. Have faith that after a few weeks or months, you will start to reap the benefits of your change, whether it’s eating less, kicking smoking, or running. But before that, you’re going to have some days when it all seems like sacrifice without payoff. Know that going in; it’s an inescapable phase.
All I can say is the light is there, but the tunnel can seem pretty long. Stay with it. Think of the early days as a probation period on a job, or an initiation/hazing ritual–some period of unpleasantness you must endure before the benefits kick in. There is no other road to change of any kind: Stay with it, feel the pain, and wait for the booster rockets to kick in. They will.