Resolutions never seem to work. We work tirelessly, kicking ourselves in the butt, to manage our daily responsibilities, relationships, work, and the endless list of tasks we are expected to get done between approximately 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Not to mention, we are told at least eight hours of sleep are necessary to lead a healthy life. So honestly, when is it possible to get a workout in?

I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions because I found that rather than improving my fitness, losing weight, eating healthier, or even just achieving any desired outcome, I was instead left feeling worthless, exhausted, and with the giant label, “FAILURE,” hanging above my head.

But, was I really a failure? Was I that much different than any average woman, trying to better myself physically? No. What I instead realized, was that like many women I have spoken with, I was normal. The more I’ve looked at New Year’s resolution involving fitness, the more I’ve realized that failure is almost inevitable. But, why? I believe much of this has to do with the fact that fitness resolution implies that fitness (or lack thereof) is something to be obtained, or resolved. This idea of a New Year’s resolution involving losing ten pounds, or getting to the gym four days a week, or running x amount of miles in a month, sets one up for failure. It implies that fitness is a one-time, achieve all or nothing, kind of activity when in fact, fitness is a process – a lifelong journey.

If you set out to resolve your fitness, you will never succeed.

So, how can we look at fitness in a possible manner?

  1. Set a goal: Goals are a good thing! It’s important to strive for something and push ourselves to get better. The issue arises, when we set goals that are either unrealistic, or we forget that goals take time and effort.
  2. Recognize the process and learn to embrace it: Being fit, losing weight, running a race, or improving in any form of physical fitness take time, effort and patience. Far too often I see women get discouraged by the process of achieving a goal. This is part of the reason why the gym is packed in January and February, and come March or April. The numbers begin to fall. Don’t let yourself get too focused on the goal, and forget to enjoy the process.
  3. Be Aware of the small successes: Every day that you make it to the gym, or you go for a run in the cold, or you crash on the floor after a hard HIIT workout, reminder yourself; “You’re succeeding.” It’s not going to be in reaching the goal that your most growth is going to happen, but rather during the tough workouts; the sweaty spin classes; the runs that feel like they’ll never end. These are when the actual successes happen.

My fitness goal for this year is to complete my first Triathlon. I’m not great at swimming, and biking is not something I’m partial to, but I’m going to do my best to savor the training process. This year I will complete a triathlon! What will your 2017 fitness goal be?