We are now past Peak New Year’s Resolution day. According to statistics January 12th is the day most people give up their New Year’s Resolutions. That is based on data collated by Strava from a sample of 31.5 million activities, so I will afford it some degree of credence, unlike the usual ‘sample size of 12 people in the office’ surveys you see in the Daily Mail and so on.
To further support this, I was in a Globo gym on Saturday afternoon at about 4.00, and again this morning at 7AM, both of which you would expect to be fairly busy times for a commercial gym.
On Saturday there were 6 people, including me, during the hour and a quarter I was in there. 2 cardio bunnies trogging away on treadmills, a couple of of other guys in the free weight section, and a strange lurking bloke who didn’t seem to actually do anything except move from machine to machine and watch everyone else. This morning it was me, the cleaners and one girl who was doing an extensive arm workout so brutal I was aching just being in the building with her. I suspect she must be in there a lot, given how jacked she was.
The rest? Those hordes of New Year’s Resolution gym goers who took out those new memberships in January and caused so much upset to the guys in the stringer vests in the squat rack? Not a sign. Guess that 92% drop off rate was right. Another amazing statistic I read while looking into all this is that in the UK £558million is spent on unused gym memberships every year. Half a billion pounds. Think about that. Of course the horrible irony is that I bet almost all of that is spent in the big empty Globo gyms like the one I was in, while the small, serious hardcore gyms run for and by really passionate people struggle to stay afloat. But that’s another rant for another day. (if you want the real skinny on the Globo gym biz, there is an excellent Planet Money podcast on the subject here: https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2014/12/17/371463435/episode-590-the-planet-money-workout)
I’m actually doing okay with the resolutions I made at New Year: Eat more, Sleep more, Blog more. I have been pretty much on point with shovelling in quality food so far; the tussle I was having with insomnia seems to be in abeyance for the time being at least, I suspect because I have been upping my workout game. I’m going to write a post about the sleep/exercise connection shortly but it certainly does always seem to work for me that the harder I work out the better I sleep. And blogging… well you’re reading this so I guess I’m writing it.
The amount of articles of the past couple of weeks about New Year’s Resolutions has been mind numbing and probably only slightly fewer than the number of abandoned gym memberships. How stupid NYRs are, they have said. How doomed to failure. There is no New Year, New You. Give up now, and other such disparaging discouragements.
The main problem with making THE BIG NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION that will change your life from top to bottom and make you slimmer, fitter, happier and wealthier is not that you can’t create the New You, rather that it is not a matter of pointing at your destination, committing to the journey and setting sail. That’s a good way to start but there’s a long way to go inbetween. When sailors cross the Atlantic or circumnavigate the globe, they don’t just push off from Plymouth harbour, lock the rudder and say “Westish”. They consult their maps and check the stars and do whatever one does with a sextant every day to make sure they are staying on course (yes I know they have GPS now).
The way you reach your goal is by frequently reviewing your position and making minor course corrections. So what I have decided to do is have, instead of one big set of Resolutions once a year, a new minor resolution every couple of weeks based on how my progress is going and how I need to adjust my direction. So on the 1st and 15th of each month I will have a cold hard look at how well I am doing with my previous resolutions and make a new one based on what I need to do at that time to move me more inline with achieving my goals. It might be a major change, it might be a minor tweak. I am hoping that getting into the habit of doing this on a set regular basis will help keep me focused on what I am doing and why, reflect more on my progress and what is working or not, and making it part of the blog will make me more accountable. If you want to join in, by all means do. You can post your resolutions in the comments section below and I’ll add them in to the next update on February 1st.
This time, my resolution is to track my nutrition for the next two weeks. Calorie and macro tracking is something I am very hot on and very good at nagging other people to do religiously, but pretty crap at doing myself. I need to be doing it though. I need to start cutting at the beginning of March, which only gives me another 6 weeks of bulking left. I have been eating pretty well and am fairly confident I am in caloric surplus most days, but that’s a very vague and feeble position, really. I should be hitting my calorie target every single day and my protein should be 100% on point, if I want to get the maximum value out of this process. If I’m not tracking my food, then I have no way of knowing if I am meeting those goals or not. I’ve eaten a lot of chicken and Greek Yogurt today (like every day) but honestly could not even guesstimate how many grams of protein I have had. Which is inexcusable, really.
So, from tomorrow, I am going to track every mouthful every day for 2 weeks, to start of with and review the situation next Resolution Day. I shall also continue my previous avowed intentions of sleeping and blogging.
Boom! That’s my Mid-January resolution. What’s yours?