As we get into January and the Christmas Holidays become just a distant memory, we all take time to set some New year’s Resolutions. come to an end, everyone starts making their new year resolutions. While the idea and sentiment of it is good, how often do you make a resolution in January and end up sticking to it for the whole Year (or even more than a couple of months)?
We prefer to set goals regularly and repeatedly throughout the year, regardless of which month it may be, or whether it’s the start, middle or end of the year. We would advise you to do the same – revisit, tweak and change your goals at regular intervals throughout the year. Now, we aren’t saying you shouldn’t have a New Year’s Resolution at all – if you want to use the new Year to kickstart a new, healthier regime, then go for it!
The most common New Year’s Resolutions are diet / health and fitness related. “This year I am going to loose X amount of weight, eat healthier, cut alcohol, build muscle…” The list goes on and on.
The truth is, a lot of people push themselves so hard in January, that by the time February comes, they’re demotivated, can’t maintain it and give up. Have you ‘kickstarted’ your New Year in the past by exercising 5 days a week while doing a juice cleanse… only to get to the end of January seeing no real change except for being mentally and physically drained? Don’t worry, you’re not alone!
Here are a few tips on how to make more sustainable resolutions and actually stick to them:
1) START SMALL
It’s very easy to be too ambitious when you start. To want to go from never or rarely exercising to exercising 5 days a week. From eating anything and everything in vast quantities throughout December, to only eating low calorie, whole foods (in restricted amounts). Or from drinking alcohol 5 days a week to suddenly trying to cut it out entirely for months on end!
Being overly restrictive in your diet, or committing to too much exercise, can be more detrimental in the long term, as it’s going to make it much harder for you to sustain your goals. Start smaller – add in a couple of training sessions per week, cut down on the indulgent treats, and limit your alcohol intake toe a couple of nights a week, for example. Then add more as it becomes easier!
2) PICK EXERCISE OR YOUR DIET
If you are a complete beginner, my suggestion would be to get moving a little more and start trying to build an exercise routine before fixing your diet. As a beginner, just moving and exercising more will be enough to make some positive changes to your health and fitness. Once you’ve got your activity and exercise dialled in, then focus on trying to improve your diet.
3)PICK AN EXERCISE ROUTINE YOU ENJOY
Don’t start weight training if you hate it, or running if you hate that (even if you hear “but it’s good for you”). When you are starting off if you dont enjoy the exercice you are doing, then the chances are you wont stick to doing it for very long.
4)WRITE DOWN SMALL GOALS AS WELL AS BIG ONES
There’s nothing wrong with having big, long-term goals. However, if you only have them, it can be very demotivating as you can feel as though you are so far away from them for so long. So, as well as setting your big, long-term goals, also write down smaller, weekly and monthly goals that are going to help you along the way (and you can tick off more regularly). For example, if your overall goal is to lose weight, your smaller goals could be to exercise twice per week and do 5000 steps a day. Or 5000 steps a day and eat 5 portions of veg per day.
5) BALANCE YOUR MEALS AND DIET
When it comes to diet, try and eat some good whole foods such as vegetables, protein and carbs at every meal. However, if you want a piece of chocolate, or to go out for a meal at the weekend, or have a few drinks with friends on a Friday night, do that too! Overly restrictive behaviour can lead to increased cravings, so that when you do eventually give in, you’re more likely to binge and overeat than if you had just allowed yourself that square of chocolate a few days earlier. There is not food that will inherently make you lose weight, nor one that will make you gain weight. So, find a balance between eating well, but also allowing yourself some treats occasionally – this will help you achieve your goals in the long-term, even if it means a slower rate of progress in the short term.
6) ASK FOR HELP
There is no shame in asking for help to get you started. We aren’t all experts in every aspect of life. Feel free to ask us any questions regarding diet or exercise that you want, and if you are interested in getting more active in or out of the gym, we are offering an introductory Pack of 5 Sessions to get you started and teach you how to lift safely and start eating better.
7) LOVE YOURSELF
Last, but not least, love yourself and your body for what it is and what it can do. Even if you’re trying to better yourself, you should 100% love and appreciate you and your body at all stages of your journey.
If we can help you, get in touch today!
We wish you all a happy new year and the best of luck and support as you embark on trying to achieve a healthier and fitter version of you.