Why You Should Actually Embrace All The New “Resolutioners”
By Erik Strouse, MS
Vida Fitness Trainer
Well, as January comes to a close, VIDA Members, we might find that some people start to fall off the “Resolution Bandwagon”. Equipment and space that was incredibly crowded will start to free up again; the volume of the noise in the club will lower; less people will ultimately be working out. Many of you will be thrilled because you can start working at your own transformation again! What if I told you that the idea of having these Resoutioners in your space is directly affecting your overall sense of wellbeing? You’d be surprised at how your wellness levels decline because you want these people gone.
As I wrote in my last post, New Year’s Resolutions often fail because expectations are set too high from the start. If you are unsure of how to set expectations and goals, find the post on the VIDA Fitness Blog, and take the time to learn how to break down a safe and healthy process destined for success. Resolutions are also set because people are enthusiastic about trying to reinvent themselves, or to really try to invest into their longevity and future health.
It should be a time of year where we open our arms and welcome them. Instead of making the environment a positive, welcoming one that keeps the person wanting to keep at it, the fitness culture that already consistently works out shuns them. They criticize and critique their form. I hear frequently with sincere sarcasm that “Oh it’s that time of year for resolutions, then people drop off,” or “Man, I can’t wait for these Resolutioners to be done already,” or “That person is working out? Maybe they should try more than just in January.” Overall, the environment becomes insanely toxic.
I teach at The George Washington University; my class is about how to be healthy and fit across the lifespan. One of the things I try to get through to my students is the idea of “Wellness”. This term is rather vague, and many people often misunderstand it. So what is it? The literal definition is “the state or condition of being in optimal physical and mental health”. There are six dimensions to wellness, which are Physical, Interpersonal, Intellectual, Emotional, Environmental, and Spiritual. All six dimensions play off of one another to contribute to that optimal wellness state. In other words, if one of these areas is off, you may feel sad, angry, depressed, fatigued, etc. making it difficult for you to feel your best.
So how does this all play together? Am I yelling at those that critique Resolutioners? No. I want to shed some light on how this idea of disgust directly impacts the wellness of each and every one one of us. Hypothetically, lets say that you are the person judging and critiquing. By critiquing and criticizing those that are starting new and trying to improve their quality of lives, you are first creating negativity for them. You are literally lowering all of their six dimensions of wellness at the same time by making them feel even more uncomfortable than they already are going into the gym. Second, you are detracting from your own wellness in the following ways. By automatically pinpointing the Resolutioner as a problem, you are lowering your environmental wellness. By lacking compassion and caring for their success, you are lowering your spiritual wellness. By shunning another human being, you are negatively affecting your interpersonal wellness. Instead of teaching them the right techniques, which is a lot harder than you think, you are lowering your intellectual wellness. Last, your own emotional wellness is being sabotaged by your idea that these people are a nuisance. The only thing left more-or-less untouched is physical wellness, because you are regularly working out… Or is that actually not true? Maybe all of this negativity will somehow effect your cardiovascular health long term.
To wrap it up, instead of judging the Resolutioner, we should all embrace them. When you see them struggling on an exercise or piece of equipment, help them figure it out. Compliment them on their efforts and make a new friend. Make their environment, and more importantly your environment, a more positive, accepting place. Make the difficult task of transforming your body an experience that is memorable for the Resolutioner, and keep them coming back. I bet if all of those people that had a negative view of the Resolutioner did these things, they’d love this time of year, and find that they feel better not only physically, but mentally.