NYR’s are the rushed and panicked future promises we make to ourselves to grant us the permission to indulge in the debauchery of December. They are also made when we realize it’s the end of the year and we’re either worse, or exactly the same as we were a year ago. Same hopes and dreams but no plan. Again.
I was in the same cycle for years. Every NYE, I was 55 lbs over weight, working two dead-end jobs. Every NYE, dreaming of a life in California as the sleet lashed down on my home in Liverpool, UK. “This year, I will lose weight, sell everything and become a personal trainer in LA”. But there was something different this year. It was going to be 1996. Instead of the same old wishes, I turned everything on its head: what would I have to stop doing in order to be standing in my own gym in LA? Well, I’d have to stop eating junk food, stop spending every pay check and stop feeling so bloody sorry for myself, for a start! I also stopped giving myself a full year to fail. What if I only had until October 1st before I had to set the next goals? A resolution which required action became goals with a deadline.
Create a sense of urgency
No-one had a gun to my head to succeed, in fact, most people I knew were hoping I’d fall flat on my face for my audacity of wanting to defect to America, be skinnier than them and be out of debt. So, I turned it around. For everyone who wanted me to fail, I thought about all of the people I would help; for everyone who would hate me for losing weight, how about the people I’d inspire with my journey? And as for my defection, well, I’m half American, so deal with it. I also only had until October, so I pulled the trigger myself.
Get ahead of the game
October 1st came around and I’d already mapped out my NYR’s two months before anyone else! October became my most creative and successful month and still is to this day.
Follow your leader
In 1996, all mentors were established by association. I worked for a man who had singled me out in the Cavern Club (where the Beatles played back in the day). I was 19 and our boss had just announced we were going to be made redundant at Christmas. We threw ourselves a good-bye party and Mr. Sanders was invited. Mr. Sanders was the CEO of a Lloyds of London broker. As he watched me spectacularly slip down the stairs of The Cavern, land on my feet and not break my neck, he turned to my boss and asked, “Who’s she?” That was Friday. Mr. Sanders hired me on Monday and told me: “I won’t be able to employ you for very long because you’re a superstar, but while I have you, I’ll teach you everything I know”. 15 months later, March 1998, he accepted my resignation and wished me well to America.
A true mentor accepts you as you are, yet sees your potential, fully expects you to supersede them and celebrates when you do. I’ve dealt with several narcissists who are cloaked as mentors; the difference is they don’t know when to let their mentee spread their wings. Mr. Sanders was one of my leaders. Find one and follow one.
Why is it fantastic that you failed with your NYRs? Because it’s not really a failure, rather an affirmation you are on the right track. Follow the steps above to make short and long term plans and always remember: your happiness should never depend upon on your success, moreover, your success should only enhance your happiness.
Lynda Linforth has been an influencer in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. She is a NASM certified personal trainer, a Corrective Exercise Specialist and is certified in Nutrition and wrote a fitness column in Los Angeles for 5 years. Lynda specializes in weight loss, dietary fitness and post-rehab exercise. After selling her personal training company in LA, she moved Trainer On The Run, LLC to Florida.