The New Year symbolises a fresh start because of this many of us have a strong desire to make changes in our life, rather like beginning a new chapter in the book that is our life. Many of us make resolutions. These look different for each individual be it losing weight, getting fit or finding a new job. We start this ‘new chapter’ full of enthusiasm with great aspiration to achieve our goals, however, only 12% of us will succeed past January.
Some of the reasons our Resolutions don’t last: The goals we set are unrealistic.
It is important to be specific about what goals you would like to achieve and know exactly why this goal is important to you. For example: Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive role model to loved ones? Do you want to lose weight, so you can feel more confident in your body, have increased energy, look fabulous for an upcoming event, live longer or have an excuse to buy new clothes?
If you are honest with yourself as to your reasons why you want to achieve the goal then you will be more encouraged to succeed. Remember if it’s not really important to you, then you won’t do it.
If you want to make any positive personal changes, then the last thing to do is to drastically change your entire life overnight. Slow and steady habit changes may sound mundane but are more effective and achievable than an all or nothing thinking mentality, which rarely works. Small changes stick because they don’t overwhelm us. Try adding one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water. The following week, move on to eating more fruit and vegetables. And the next week, aim to eat more protein. Radical diet changes with excessive exercise plans are extremely difficult to maintain. If you deprive your body of pleasure then the cravings will consume you. The more you tell yourself you can’t have something then the more you’re going to want it. Do not beat yourself up over the occasional indulgence. Know that you have the ability to make healthy choices that work for you. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, it’s to remove it. We all struggle when we see healthy eating as a chore and exercise as boring. The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. Instead try making it fun and something you are more likely to enjoy doing, joining a group class, so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please. Ask yourself why would you do something you don’t enjoy?
If you don’t believe in yourself you won’t succeed. Doubt is a nagging inner voice in your head that resists personal growth and leads to self-sabotaging behaviours. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed before? Learn from these experiences. The more you try the more you succeed.
Keeping a record of your progress will help you sustain a positive attitude and will also help to track your personal progress. A simple way to do this is to record what you eat, what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed and mapping your goals for next time gives you positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.
It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. If you know or have someone who shares your goal, you will be more likely to stay positive and focused. Joining a support group or making shared goals with friends can help this tremendously.
Remember, if it was easy, everybody would do it, so don’t procrastinate and talk about it instead, take action and exercise patience.
I hope in some small way that this blog will help and encourage you to achieve your goals this year.
Be well Pip x