My son is an avid gym goer. He plays elite level sports and fitness is mandatory element.

He’s not looking forward to the next month. The gyms will be packed with people who decided that, after all of the excesses of the holidays, now is the time to get in shape. They’ll all (or the vast majority of them) be cleared out by February.

That’s the problem with short term resolutions: Unrealistic goals, extremely unrealistic timelines and an almost 100% failure rate.

Which is why I don’t make any. There are piles of abandoned resolutions in my past. They haunt me. On the odd occasion I look over my shoulder at them, they sneer and say something along the lines of “see what you coulda had” and point at abs, or a viable book marketing plan or an alcohol-free life (that one was never going to happen).

You’re only setting yourself up for depressing failure if you don’t plan things out. And if you plan them out, then they’re not resolutions.

Make a three or five-year plan. Make it an achievable goal. Make it something like “I want to feel healthy” or “I want to fit in that suit I bought five years ago, even if it is no longer in style because what it style anyway, but a construct perpetrated by the fashion industry”.

Work backwards from that.

Do you need to buy a gym membership? Buy it. Schedule two or three times a week that fit in your schedule to go. Make it a habit. You don’t have to back squat 100kilos on your first visit. That should take YEARS.

Do you need to eat more fruit? BUY MORE FRUIT. You’ll get tired of throwing it out and after some time you’ll start eating it. (It pays to buy fruit you actually like.)

Cut out sugar. (That’s not a question. Just do it.)

Eat fewer simple carbs (white bread) and more complex carbs (multigrain bread).

Eat less. (A foot-long Sub? Really? Your stomach is happy after six inches – that’s what she said – and the remaining six are just future stomach fat.)

So don’t make it a goal you need to reach in a month. It took years to add that weight and fuck up your lifestyle. It’ll take years to undo the mess. Deal with it.


About the author: tonymcfadden

Since Tony McFadden left Canada two decades ago he and his wife and two children have lived in the US Virgin Islands, various American cities (LA, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Fairfax), Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and now, finally (and for good), Australia. All of those places and people have provided a wealth of characters and settings for his books, all filled with thrills, suspense and adventure.

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