We get it. The New Year is all about new beginnings, a fresh start, the chance to hit the “reset” button after a season of eating, drinking, and being merry.
The thing is that, although the number one resolution people make is health and fitness related, only 60% maintain their resolution past the first month alone?
The main reason for this is that people often try to make dramatic, unrealistic, changes in their lives and can unknowingly put a lot of pressure on themselves to achieve them.
Too much pressure can actually become an obstacle rather than a journey to success. If you try to do too much, in too little time, with unrealistic expectations then you are prone to reverting back to old habits because it all seems 'too hard'.
Well, it certainly isn't easy, however there are some simple tips that can make the difference between success or failure.
Break it down
If your New Year's resolution is one of weight loss, for example, in order to be successful and not overwhelm yourself with too much pressure, break your goal down into smaller, more specific positive changes.
Think about what one change you could implement from the start of each new week or month so that the change is not so dramatic. For example in the first week of January you may start by simply getting out and finding a new activity that you enjoy.
Week two could be about making time in your daily routine for regular exercise, and in the third week you might start filling your cupboards with healthier food choices.
In this way, breaking your goal down into smaller goals will not be such a shock to your mind and body, and allows you time to adjust to the lifestyle change. You can try a similar approach no matter what your goals are.
If you slip up – it’s okay
If you've found in the past that the thing holding your success back is "falling off the wagon" often, mastering these slip ups in your desired routine is the number one thing you can do to minimize the impact of stepping outside your routine.
What this means is that you become comfortable with the fact that sometimes you will slip up. This happens to everyone. None of us are perfect, especially when it comes to training and eating habits, and eating half a brownie or missing training two days in a row isn't a big sin that immediately erases the effect of your previous successes.
Planning is the name of the game
Will your approach to achieving your goals lead to short-term or long-term results? Make sure you PLAN for your success: schedule training into your day and make it a priority. Commit to a class, arrange to meet a friend, leave your gym clothes out the night before, make a bet if you must – there are many ways to keep yourself on track, just don't leave it to chance.
Here’s the thing:
- Willpower alone won't work for long-term success, this requires planning, discipline and daily motivation
- Diets don't work – don't waste your time on making changes to your dietary plan that are not realistic and you can't maintain
- Motivation does not magically happen – you have to find what will drive you daily
The key to success is to make positive changes to your daily routine, both training and diet-wise, that you are able to maintain over time and that will eventually turn into habit. It almost sounds like a cliche now, but it's true: it's about lifestyle!
First of all, find an activity that you enjoy doing – if you enjoy the kind of training you're doing it certainly makes it that little bit easier and helps keep you motivated!
Check out the FitnessLink directory for what's available in your area. If you're not sure what works for you; try a couple of different activities to see what's right.
Also, seek professional advice about what kind of training is most appropriate and effective for what you want to achieve.
The takeaway? Don't focus on making resolutions. Make 2015 the time for a new you 'evolution', and make it stick.