| 6.4°C Dublin

Shape Up: New year, new you - now where have I heard that before?


Library Image. Photo: Getty Images

Library Image. Photo: Getty Images

Library Image. Photo: Getty Images

Is it my imagination or did many people become liars at the start of the new year? Everyone raves about new year's resolutions and each year people are bitten by the bug. You've seen it before -- you probably even did it!

As the clock strikes midnight, you turn to your friend, partner or family member and say: "This year it's going to be different. I can see my life changing." You gaze into each other's eyes and for a split second you actually believe it.

As you polish off the end of your pint, you are fired up with enthusiasm and looking forward to Monday's detox diet and to wearing that new gym gear to complement your new gym membership.

It is like watching a re-run of 'Only Fools and Horses', where Del Boy tells Rodney: "This time next year, we'll be millionaires!"

When you wake up on January 1 your Fairy Godmother is no longer with you and the vision you had of the new you is not as clear, and by January 2 your enthusiasm is already starting to wane.


You either return to the gym -- whose door you haven't darkened since the good weather in November -- or else you decide to join one.

You are panting with excitement at the prospect of receiving your new key ring to match your new trainers you got as a Christmas gift. Regular gym-goers who have mastered the habit of going regularly sit back and analyse which new member will be first to give up.

It seems a daunting experience going into a large gym, even intimidating, and your enthusiasm is slowly ebbing away. January 3 and 4 see your goals slide further before you finally say to yourself: "I've got all year to do this. I'll get the kids back to school and get back to work and then I can really get organised to start training."

'This year is going to be different' was nothing but a lie because you did nothing different to make it happen -- your strategy was just the same. The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again while expecting to get different results.

You then lie again and say your goal is not that important -- you'll finally attack this fitness thing when there's more time.

What a great lie! This is really a delaying tactic. You are telling yourself you are not giving up. But these are the same excuses used for not getting into shape before the new year.

The results will remain the same this year and every other year and the only change will be the fact that you're a year older.

You need to make things happen, and not be part of the majority of people waiting for things to happen. You need to address the causes of your shortcomings, not just want the effects to go away all by themselves.

If you want to succeed, you need to do the planning and then lay the foundations for success before you attempt to build the first, second and third floors. Success can be accomplished if you follow a step-by-step approach and implement one single change at a time.


You need to have a vision of what you want to achieve and be specific and have reasons why you want to achieve it and why you want to change your current status.

A goal without a deadline is like a book with no ending. Establishing a time frame prevents procrastination and gives a sense of urgency.

Harvard University research showed goals written down followed by action were successful whilst those talked about are still being talked about!

If you want something new, you have to change what you are currently doing to get a different result. You need to know the price you have to pay to change your body shape.

How many times are you prepared to train; are you ready to eat different foods, bring packed lunches to work and a change to your lifestyle?

The big question is are you prepared to pay this price? The majority of people are in love with the fantasy of a lean body but they are not prepared to do the day-to-day actions that are necessary to accomplish it. Graham McDowell did not win sports star of the year award from practising one day of golf. It was his reward for his consistency of practice and hard work.

You can start taking action or you can fall in with the crowd and accept the consequences of not changing. But remember, it all starts with hard work.


Health & Living