The Truth To Your Failed Resolutions -
Written by Mike Over

The number of new articles this month explaining “smart” New Year’s goals and resolutions are surging more than the new rapid spike in COVID. What I’ve come to realize, however, is that much of these are irrelevant, since a stunning 80% of people never stick to their hyped up New Year surges according to a study done by Strava.

What gives? If there is so much information on the topic and how to make realistic and attainable goals, why do we continue to just solidify the statistical data? While it might seem like common sense to most, the intentions and actions of our civilization are not met eye to eye. Let’s get down to the real truth.

The basic assumption of making sustainable goals is easier said than done. What happens when you experience an injury, a work layoff, death in the family or other problem that arises in your life? You deviate and begin telling yourself it’s “okay” to miss a workout, indulge in that pizza buffet or pick your smoking habit back up. After all, you’re human and are allowed to have days off from your plan.

The problem is just that.We all have instances where life throws us curves. The biggest issue is that we fail to swerve and stand there getting hit…or worse yet, you strike out by it happening too far often.

While my analogies for baseball and life might not be clear, let me sharpen up the raw truth of why you never get the results you want each year. The uncut truth that no one really addresses:

1: You are too stressed to actually get any progress

Your stress, energy, digestion, and sleep quality are far more important than the program you follow. Stress comes in many forms and exercise is just one stressor we need to take into account.

You will never get the body you want if you are not having healthy ranges of hormones and a balanced lifestyle while resting properly. Your body relies on the systematic function of so many important pieces, so failing to stop and take a look at possible road blocks can just make your fitness regimen harder and possibly more dangerous.

The average man has his testosterone drop up to 10% every year after the age 30. Many females begin having major effects of metabolic stress and down regulation of their hormones in their 40’s. Most of it is caused by stress and environmental factors that contribute to desensitizing your metabolic pathway, leading to fatigue, depression, anxiety and a complete loss of motivation.

As high performers, we naturally want to solve all problems and hide our emotions, while continuing to push through emotional and physical distress.

While this can seem lie the “manly” thing to do, quite honestly, it’s going to end up making things much, much worse. Chronic stress and fatigue will begin creating inflammation and potentially backfire when it comes to your fitness and training. So, you ultimately could be doing more harm while doing your training!

I get it, most of us have a lot on our shoulders. We want to take on as much as possible while holding our “front.” Unfortunately, this behavior is making fat loss harder to happen because of something called metabolic resistance.

Metabolic damage is a widely misused and misleading term. What people are often referring to when they talk about a ‘damaged’ metabolism, is actually metabolic resistance or metabolic compensation. The two are very similar in that they involve – to put it simply – the slowdown of your metabolic rate.

Metabolic compensation is the body’s natural response to dieting, fat loss, and periods of lower calorie intake. As you lose weight and lower calories, your body adapts to having less mass to carry around; while also becoming more efficient at using less energy due to the decrease in food availability. Again, this is natural. It’s a survival mechanism to help keep us from starving.

Metabolic resistance is similar in that it also involves those same mechanisms of dieting and calorie deficits, but is also exacerbated by other factors as well, including excess cortisol production and stress, poor sleep and too much exercise, nutrient deficiencies, or things like poor hormone production, autoimmune diseases, metabolic diseases like diabetes, PCOS, etc.

Metabolic compensation is normal when losing fat. Metabolic resistance is what we want to minimize at all costs and where many people find themselves stuck.

When it comes to your training, your CNS recovers surprising quick to heavy compound movements but not so much from higher volume/low intensity training. This is an important point to consider in your programming! Some of you who love your HIIT and high-volume workouts might be playing catch 22 with your ability to recover and keep your cortisol levels down, let alone bringing your body back to a parasympathetic state and out of the “fight or flight” you are putting yourself in constantly.

Add in the low carb diet and caloric deficit most try when hitting the New Year, and you are asking for an evil road of hormone disruption and ultimately making fat loss and recovery much harder. When trying to program make sure your lifestyle and nutrition matches your training.

2: You give in some areas but take in others

This one is very common and something I see trending each and every year. Many of us attempt to overhaul one area of our life when the New Year hits.

While that is not entirely a wrong to do, the effects it plays on your mind are what seem to be the problem for most. For example, you go with a new diet and stay strict and follow it to perfection, but with this stress and new task of having to be so rigid in one area will eventually lead you to letting another slip, such as your training or sleep. You think to yourself, “I am following my diet so I can afford a day off from the gym.”

This type of thinking is what ruins most New Year’s resolutions because our body and mind work synergistically. If you cut in one area to an extreme, you will be more apt to give in one way or another somewhere else.

Wanting to fit workouts in and can only train at 4am? That’s okay, but now sacrificing sleep consistently will be a far worse idea for trying to make progress. Some of you might commit to training 6-7 days a week or even multiple workouts in a day, but then find yourself in the cupboard eating back all your calories from excessive hunger.

When you begin setting new goals, remember to ease into them and allow yourself some growth and freedom. You can’t overhaul 10 years of neglect in 2 months, nor can you clear up hormonal dysfunction and adrenal health with one night of sleep. Start with setting realistic expectations and have a plan to work around problems, because they will inevitably arise.

3: You Can’t Problem Solve

Problems are inevitable. There will never be a time in your life where you don’t encounter them, but a lot of New Year’s resolution seekers forget the simple fact of preparing and planning for them.

Instead, you face a problem unexpectedly and wind up taking your gut instinct on how to react and combat them. What happens if you get caught at work late? What about a family emergency or an injury that sets you back on your gym time? Life will always throw curveballs, and if you are not willing to swerve and adjust, you ultimately will never reach your true potential.

Think about the last time you dealt with an injury. Did you train around it? Did you utilize the time to focus on other important areas of your life or body you may have been neglecting? Most of us shift our focus to the negative and don’t reflect on each situation appropriately.

A simple yet highly effective string of questions taken from Tony Robbins, Gary White, and Byron Katie that you can ask yourself next time you face adversity are listed below. Try using them next time you face a problem and you will be shocked with how it truly helps.

Mike Over is a NASM master trainer/online
coach and owner of Over-Achieve Fitness in
Pennsylvania. He works with busy working professionals and athletes of all levels.
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