A wise man once said, “Wherever you go, there you are.” Okay I’m kidding, no one actually ever said that and meant it. I heard a character in a movie I watched the other week say it and it stuck with me because of how ridiculously dumb and funny it was. And for some odd reason, I kept looking for opportunities in my everyday life to slip it in as a one-liner because it really tickled my funny bone. But aside from being dumb, it kind of makes a very good point. “Wherever you go, there you are,” meaning that what you put into something is what you’ll get out of it. And I think everyone can relate to that on so many levels, especially when it comes to working out. I’ve come across quite a few people in my life who have honestly thought that if they just sign up for a gym membership or go grocery shopping and decide to buy a bunch of salads then they’ve fixed the problem and they will regain control of their weight and ultimately their life. But it’s not that easy…

January 1st came and went a few weeks ago and you all know what that brought with it: New Year’s Resolutions, which for almost everybody, meant workout goals.

  • “I’m going to get fit this year!”
  • “I’m going to lose 50 lbs!”
  • “I’m going to run every day!”
  • “I’m going to stop eating junk food and hit the gym from now on!”

And while all these goals are great, so many of the people who resolve to accomplish them end up fizzling out and falling back into their old habits. They feel like they just couldn’t accomplish it this year, so they will spend the rest of 2017 preparing themselves for the next January 1st, because by then they will be ready and they will succeed…right?

Or have they put too much pressure on themselves to make January 1st THE day to change their lives entirely? I mean it’s just a normal day like every other day of the year, except for the teeny tiny fact that it’s the beginning of a new year, “beginning” being the key word here. And I think that’s what so many people seem to cling to: new beginnings, fresh start, clean slate. But why? Why does the change have to happen all of a sudden? Why does it have to be an overnight ordeal? You’re telling me that December 31st you’re not a gym freak or a health nut, but just twenty-four hours later you have to be?

If I ask you a question, will you give me an honest answer? I promise I won’t tell. How many times have you sworn to yourself, and maybe to friends either in person or over social media, that starting (let’s say Monday because that seems to be a pretty popular day to start fresh), that you were going to start doing things differently? You were really going to buckle down on your diet and once and for all lose that weight that you’ve been carrying around for X amount of years? I know I have, countless times. I’m practically president of the “I’m going to get up and run in the morning” club. But I hardly ever follow through with my promises when it comes to running. Even though my desire to do it is there, it really all boils down to the fact that I don’t enjoy doing it, and that’s what stops me every time. But isn’t that the case for so many of us?  How often does our desire to workout and get healthy far outweigh our commitment? We say one thing and do another. Yeah, ok, maybe we jump on the bandwagon for a week or two (this particular bandwagon being the New Year’s Resolution), but come that first road block I’d like to call work, family life, stress, you name it, it becomes really easy to just throw in the towel.

I really and truly believe that people need to take a step back and evaluate themselves and their own personal goals, and not try to conform to this ideal that the beginning of the year means extreme changes in your lifestyle. REAL change comes with time, and so does real success. Deciding to sign up for a gym membership is fantastic, but that doesn’t mean you need to go everyday for 2+ hours and completely change your diet so drastically, because that is a surefire way to burn yourself out. Slow and gradual changes are going to be so much more beneficial and going to produce long-term success. For example, deciding to cut out soda or other sugary drinks and trading them out for water, trading eating out for cooking at home, cutting out thirty minutes to an hour a day, throughout the week to exercise, etc. All these are great ways to kick-start a healthier lifestyle, and more than that, a doable lifestyle.

At the end of the day, change is hard, and sometimes unwanted. Deciding to stir up your everyday routine can be challenging and even scary, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before. Or even worse sometimes if it’s something you have done before but you feel too far gone to even try it again. Whatever your reason, just take it slow, or fast if that’s your style, because for some, jumping into the deep end suits them better than others. Just remember, that it’s your life and you need to figure out what works best for you and your circumstances. Forget that January 1st just happened, and look at every single day that comes your way as a new day and a fresh start. You can change your life at any moment, but it’s up to you to actually do it and not give up. Remember, that whatever you expect to get out of this journey that you are about to embark on will come directly from how much work and dedication you put into it. Because, after all, “wherever you go, there you are.”