Seriously. It’s pointless. This year, start training.

It may seem like I’m just arguing semantics, but how we phrase things affects how we view them. A workout is a finite activity, connected to nothing; it also doesn’t sound particularly appealing (“work”). When you train, you train for a purpose. In essence, training requires you to set a goal for yourself, and by now you’ve probably heard that goals are critical to achievement. If you don’t know where you’re going, if you haven’t defined your destination, you won’t know when you’ve reached it. If your goal is vague — say, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get fit” — then you’re going to have a hard time staying motivated. Define what these things mean to you, write them out and hang your notes where you can review them on a daily basis, because your daily efforts will determine your long-term success.

And there’s another benefit to training. It puts your efforts into perspective. If you’re “working out” three days a week, and that means going for a walk, fine. You may be content that you’re exercising, but you get discouraged because you’re not seeing results.  Now, try calling your walk “training”. That begs the question, what are you training for? To be a better walker? To get more adept at putting one foot in front of the other without falling over? Suddenly, you realize that maybe you’re not getting anywhere because your training isn’t designed to get you anywhere. Time to rethink your strategy.

You’re putting in effort. Make it mean something.

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