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I Hate New Year’s Resolutions, But I Made Six For 2015 Anyway

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*This article was originally published in Men’s Health as a part of their New Year’s Resolutions Campaign. It was adapted for Lean It UP.

“What exactly is a New Year’s resolution? It’s a “to-do” list for the first week of January.”

I mostly hate New Year’s resolutions. They’re evil. They haunt you, coerce you into making them, and flaunt their sexy potential. Only to let you down and serve as a source of failure and disappointment later in the year.

January 1 inevitably comes with a downpour of half-assed resolutions. Intentions are ambitious and most people are euphoric about the idea of making a spontaneous, revolutionary personal 180º. Nothing feels better than scrubbing off the dirt and ash from 2014.

And then life happens, priorities shift, resolutions dissolve, and you’re back where you were pre-Jan 1. Most resolutions evaporate by the end of January, and stats show that only 8% of people actually achieve what they set out to do.1

That’s why gyms are basically a sweaty version of hell through January 31st, as a stampede of overzealous noobies are gung-ho to lose weight, carve out a killer six-pack, or build a butt that’s on par with Jen Selter. But once the realization kicks in that a body overhaul is really, really hard-and that, you know, actual work, commitment, and discipline are all mandatory-the idea isn’t as cute. Plus you can’t eat as much pizza or drink unlimited beer. Because sacrifices.

I usually don’t make resolutions (45% of people usually do).2 I hate the idea of using an arbitrary date as a catalyst for change. Whatever you’re putting off, do it now, stop waiting for a box on a calendar. But given that 2015 is here, and frankly, I have a lot of cool shit that I want to do this year, the concept seems more apropos than ever. Consider it a to-do list.

In 2015, it’s all about NEW. It’s about culture. It’s about substance. It’s about maturing and expanding my persona beyond where it is today. As someone in the fitness world, resolutions always gravitate towards weight loss or GAINNNZ. For some people it’s valiant-and encouraged as a healthy lifestyle change-but it’s also so cliché and simplistic. I’m pushing myself to go DEEP and WIDE with my goals. I’d encourage you to do the same.

But above all else, commit to commit. Resolutions don’t count unless you follow through. With that, here are 6 of the goals that I WILL accomplish in 2014.

    1. Cook profusely. Cooking has always been one of my biggest loves. It’s therapeutic, healthy, and basically everyone loves you, unless you suck at it. For whatever reason, I overlooked it in 2014 and fell into an embarrassing addiction to Seamless and the Whole Foods sushi bar. Seriously, no one should ever be allowed to see my account, it’s filthy. 2015 is back to all-cooking everything and expanding my culinary repertoire. It’s so much healthier and cost-effective than eating out, plus girls love it. Bonus points.
    2. Read more books. I’m committed to read at least 1 book per month, each of which has to be from a different subject area and a different author. Diversity of knowledge is just as (if not more) important as depth of knowledge. Fitness, nutrition, and business are already in my wheelhouse – I’m planning to dabble with books related to art, music, film, sex, fashion, biographies, history, fiction, and other miscellaneous topics. I am also hoping that this might even inspire me to finally make a start on my own book. Writing a book has always been on my bucket list and therefore I have been doing some research into the best self publishing companies out there. Who knows, this time next year, I might even be a best-selling author.
    3. Start learning a new language. I can’t promise that I’ll master a new language in 2015, but I’m going to try. I enjoy the culture that goes along with it, plus it’s a great way to expand and stimulate the mind. French, let’s go. I plan on abusing Duolingo on the toilet and during overcrowded Subway rides. Hey, it’s better than mindlessly flipping through Instagram.
    4. Deadlift 450 pounds. I had to throw in one fitness goal. At 170 pounds, I currently deadlift 335 pounds for 5 reps. Let’s throw another 100+ on that by 2016. Forget scale numbers, Hulk-like strength is what I’m gunning for.
    5. Volunteer 1 hour/week. Not only is charity work beneficial for the less fortunate, but gratitude nourishes the soul. 1 hour per week is literally .6% of your time. I’m upset that I haven’t started volunteering on a regular basis earlier.
    6. Travel more. As a website owner and fitness author, and a 20-something that has minimal commitments, I’m lucky enough to have the flexibility to work from anywhere that’s hooked up to WiFi. I didn’t use that freedom nearly enough last year. Who knows how long that’ll last – now is the perfect time to take advantage and seize it.

Which leads me to this. As it so happens, I’ve already committed to a 9-month culinary program in Paris. Numbers 1, 3, 6 – check, check, check.

What are you doing to kick your resolutions in motion? Put some thought into it, be realistic about what you can legitimately accomplish, and make a plan. Specific, short-term goals always work best, especially if you can chunk them by month. That puts yourself in the best position to succeed and grow.

Got resolutions? Share ’em below, or over at our fitness community – Lean It UP 360º.

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
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  1. Statistic Brain – New Year’s Resolution Statistics []
  2. Statistic Brain – New Year’s Resolution Statistics []
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