We call them “Resolutioners”. They are the droves of out-of-shape people that suddenly show up to the gym after January 1, stick around for a month or so, and then disappear. They’re usually spotted hanging around the treadmills or elliptical machines. The other parts of the gym are way too intimidating for them, with the muscular guys and the slim gals grunting and sweating profusely. The Resolutioner will tell you that he just wants to “start off slow” with some light cardio. He doesn’t want to hurt himself.
Gym owners love them. They pay for a year membership in advance and cause no wear and tear on the equipment.
The Resolutioner's "plan" is failed from the start, because they don't have a plan. They don’t have a truly defined goal in mind. “Get in shape” is far too vague. They have no concrete steps to get there. If they were serious about getting in shape, they would break it down a little piece at a time. They would get help. They would work with a trainer. If the trainer is good, he/she would ask them all about their goals and start formulating a plan.
Instead of “get in shape”, the goal becomes “Lose 20 lbs of fat in 6 months and add muscle”. That's way more defined.
The plan then solidifies and is broken down into digestible chunks.
1. Get diet in check. Create list of “DO NOT EAT EVER” items and stick to it. Put together menu for each week and stick to it.
2. Start a program of working out four days a week. Workouts include light cardio, intense cardio and weightlifting.
3. Look at results at the end of each month and adjust if needed. Can bump up workout intensity if needed, or dial down if feeling burnt out. Can adjust diet as needed.
That sounds a hell of a lot more productive than just “Get in shape”.
The same mindset applies to guys out there trying to move on after their awful divorce.
I’ve heard these a million times:
“I just need to move on, man.”
“I just can’t seem to get over her. It’s been a year now.”
“I just can’t believe that after all that (insert positive Provider stuff here) she treats me like this.”
He’s stuck in the mud. Wheels are spinning. He’s getting nowhere. His social group is starting to say, “Dude.. you’re not over her yet?”
Using the gym analogy again, he’s on the elliptical machine working at a moderate pace for 20 minutes … and then going home and eating frozen pizza. “I can’t seem to lose weight, man.”
He hasn’t put down a plan on paper. He hasn’t really thought this through. The intense emotion of the situation has clouded his judgement and sucked all the motivation out of him. He can’t seem to get over the hump and figure out what to do next.
This is where a lot of the guys I talk to end up after divorce. Stuck and miserable. They don’t seek out the REAL help they need to get the momentum going in the right direction.
Tackling life after divorce is the same as tackling the goal of getting in shape. You do it one step at a time. Be patient. Start with the foundational stuff. Get your money situation figured out. I can’t tell you how many guys still share a bank account with their ex. Dude… no. That’s just begging for trouble.
In big picture terms, here are the steps for getting on the right path:
1. Take care of your money
2. Take care of your mind
3. Take care of your body
4. Take care of your kids
Yes, kids come fourth. If you don’t handle 1, 2 and 3… you don’t get to see the kids. You end up broke, depressed and sick or dead. If you’re not dead, your ex-wife and the legal system will make sure depressed broke dad doesn’t get to see his kids.
Start with step 1. Start a plan for getting out of debt. Get health insurance. Get a job that pays the bills. That may take months. Work your ass off. THEN you move on to step 2…. and so on.
Do NOT get caught up in the “This sucks… should be better… but it’s not… oh well” routine. That doesn’t help anyone.
You’re a man. We all need you to be your best. We need your strength. You’re the rock that holds the rest of us up. We're all counting on you.
Your kids are looking at you for strength. Show them what you can do. Show them what THEY can do when times get tough.
Get to it, my man. You can do it.
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