So the end of December is almost here. Which can I say how ridiculously fast this year has gone! Every year seems to be going quicker and quicker. It inevitably comes to this time of year when everyone starts thinking about New years resolutions and about 20 seconds later decide it’s all too hard to start now so January it will be.
Now fast forward a few weeks to the beginning of January, you get all excited and go hard at it for 2 weeks. Then February hits and you realise you actually have a life to live so staying home 24/7 and sticking to a diet plan you found online that resembles something like having glasses of water and 2 breaths of fresh air for breakfast, lunch and dinner isn’t realistic. Then you slowly start to miss one gym session a week, then 2, then before you know it your gym membership card has been lost on your bedroom floor somewhere gathering dust and it's bye bye new years resolutions. That is why making a whole year resolution with yourself and even breaking up the year into different resolutions for different months could be the best thing for you. Not only will it give you a fresh new goal to achieve and make life more interesting, but it'll ensure that you then aren't falling off the bandwagon before January has even ended.
When thinking about your goals, you need to think of how you are going to stick to these goals past valentines day and what motivation is going to keep you working towards it in the depths of Winter. Your goals need to be something that you are continually working towards. They should be small enough so that you can see that you can reach them are aren't discouraged and when you do reach them that is when you re-evaluate and create new ones. Not just think oh ok I've reached that and then plateau. Having some sort of motivation be it a piece of clothing to get back into, sporting event to compete in or even just your own personal competition with yourself is a great way to get your health journey started and to see how far you've come.
Ask anyone. Even the most fit, die hard fitness junkies don’t always feel motivated and want to workout. Sometimes they dread it and would give anything to have the day off. But they know when they start they’ll love it and remember how good they feel after. Motivation is what is going to get you started on your health journey but being disciplined is what is going to keep you going and make you get out of bed on those cold mornings when you would rather hit the snooze button for an extra hour sleep. It is about getting into a routine whether it be getting up that hour early to go for a walk/ run or to the gym or getting out every lunch for a walk with colleagues or after work. Just getting into that good routine is going to be crucial for your success. Now, I’m not saying you can’t occasionally have the day off exercise or day where your eating is not so clean. BUT that has to be the exception not the rule. Having days off training are great to help your muscles recover but it's about knowing when you are having a day off from training because you've trained 5 days and your muscles are sore, or if you're just being lazy and bed seems more convenient and comfy then the gym.
Yes I definitely believe in making goals to work towards but they have to be realistic and fit around your lifestyle and work. It can’t be some outrageous diet that says you can only have certain foods at certain times, it needs to be proper advice from a qualified health professional that understands your specific needs. I help my clients to address their goals so that they are specific and are actually achievable in a realistic time frame. It can’t just be something that come February they’re going to give up on if they haven’t seen the desired results yet.
What I can help teach you is why being healthy is a lifestyle not something for a season or for the first few weeks of january. Consistency and one day of not eating well and not exercising is not going to undo all your months of hard work, just like one day of exercise or eating well is not going to turn you into an ultra marathon runner or fitness model. Some days/ weeks are going to be much better than others but then that is what life is. It goes up and down and you have to take the bad days along with the good. And when the bad comes appreciate it, learn from it and not give up and put everything in the too hard basket. And it is having this attitude that is going to ultimately help you succeed. Getting back on the proverbial bandwagon and being able to pick yourself up when you fall and rise.
Photo Credit - dreamstime/ @9dreamstudio