New Years Resolutions, I personally like to define them as New Year Goals rather than resolutions, But no matter how you define it we all get excited to take on the new year head on with the greatest of intentions. Over 50% of Australian set new years resolutions, however, out of the 50% of the population that set out with new goals, 88% of them fail before the new year if done. So why is that? Why do we start off the new year with all of these great intentions then only months later find ourselves back to square one without following our resolutions through? This morning I was thinking about my own goals for 2017 and how I am going to achieve them. In the past have done those same things, set goals without following them through. However, when I have achieved my goals I have always relied on the same simple steps which see me through to the end every time.
1. Clearly Define Your Goals (smartly)
In order to achieve your goals for the new year, you need to be clear about what they are. This is the most important step because if you skip tuis part then the rest is doomed to fail. Many people get excited about setting a resolution and So many times I have heard people say " I want to lose weight and get in shape". Even though that is a great incentive, what does it really mean? Does it mean you are going to lose 5kgs? Run a marathon? Lose 10% in body fat? Squat 100kgs? Goals need to be "SMART" which means specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and set within a time frame. So even though your ultimate goal may be to lose weight and be in shape, you need specific goals in order to get there. Write them down and set a time frame, you can have many small goals to get to your ultimate goal. Start small within small time frames then keep adding to your goal once you are there.
For example, your goals may be to lose 10kgs this year.
Your first month might be "I will lose 2kgs this month"
Your first week may be " I will commit to 3 workouts this week"
Your second week may be "I will commit to 4 workouts this week"
Your 3rd week may bee I am going to keep doing my 4 workouts and pack a healthy lunch each day instead of buying lunch"
Building small habits over time that you can measure within time frames will help you get to your ultimate goal!
2. Track your progress
If you can measure it you can change it. Without knowing how your body is responding to your health and fitness goals you are simply flying blind. So track your progress whether it's weekly, bi-weekly or even daily depending on your goals. Keep a record of your progress, this way you can see if you need to make any changes to what you are currently doing in order to make sure you keep your progress going track. Your body will absolutely adapt over time as you become fitter and stronger so be prepared to hit sticking points and plateaus. However, if you are tracking your progress you can make small changes weekly in either your nutrition or exercise to help keep you breaking through to your ultimate goal.
3. Have patience
How many of you have ever started a health and fitness goal and 2 days in you get upset because you have not seen any changes yet? We have all been there! Change takes TIME and building new habits takes, even more, time. So don't get discouraged if you don't lose 5kgs in your first week, in fact, I guarantee you won't, even a 0.5-1kg loss in a week is considered to be relatively quick weight loss. So be patient and focus on all the positive changes such as you may have nailed all of your training sessions this week, or you feel stronger, you sleep better, you drink more water than before. All of those little changes add up and count as progress so be aware of these and be patient, your overall goal is coming I promise you.
4. Make one change at a time
I don't know about you but coming into the new year I feel like I want to conquer the world! But making the most of your good intentions for every aspect of your life all at once could backfire on you. Making too many changes at once can be a little overwhelming and your energy and focus can only be stretched so thin. So make sure if you have multiple goals just focus on one thing at a time with one small step at a time. Committing to a resolution usually means making lifestyle and habit changes, remember you don't need to commit it a full life overhaul all at once. Make a plan and progress after you become comfortable with each step.
5. Share your experience
Accountability, accountability accountability. I will say it one more time just for good luck, ACCOUNTABILITY! Be public with your goals, tell all of your friends and family announce it on social media or hire someone that will make you accountable every week. Once you make your goals public people will generally check up on your and ask you how you are going with your progress. When you have someone to report to or everyone knows what you are working towards, I can guarantee you it will give you that little extra motivation to stick to your game plan on the days you don't feel like it. When the world is watching you, you give it that little bit extra.
6. Schedule it in
It's great to have the perfect game plan to get to your goals, but it will only work if you make sure you get it done within your schedule. So be realistic when you set your goals and make sure you do what is within your means within your schedule. Then do exactly that, schedule your workouts into your diary, or block out that time to get you food organized for the week. If you treat your steps like an appointment you will ensure that you tick them off every week rather than brushing them off with the same old "I don't have time" factor.
7. Ditch the all or nothing mindset
we all want to start our path to reach our health and fitness goals, but I want to wait until Monday until everything is fresh. Then Monday rolls along and you ate a little more than you should have, or you missed your workout, then you throw in the towel reach for the tub of ice cream and Oreos and say well you stuffed it up so you are going to start next Monday instead. Yeah, I know you know what I am talking about we have all been there. When really you would have been better off eating a tiny bit less the next day and getting your workouts in the rest of the week. Perfection doesn't exist, but consistency does. You may not be perfect all of the time but if you are as consistently as close as you can be each day you will get towards your goals sooner than you think.
8. Keep grinding
The road to your goals is not always going to be easy and smooth sailing. But that's ok its call LIFE and it can get in the way sometimes. But what matters most is that you don't give up, you need to keep going when the going gets tough. It doesn't matter how slowly you move forward to your ultimate goal, it's not a race, but what matters most is that you keep moving forward no matter what life ends up throwing in your way.
9. Have fun
We all have goals that we want to work towards, and goals can take a lot of hard work! Just remember to have some fun along the way. Make sure you incorporate workouts that you LOVE, reward yourself when you hit milestones and share your enjoyment with the people around you.