According to the U.S. News, around 80% of our fitness resolutions fail by February, and I’m guessing this doesn’t come as a surprise to most of us …Who really does manage to make it to the gym every single day in January?
“…New Year, new me…”
Sound familiar? Done it all before?
Why is it that we can’t seem to stick to these pesky resolutions? Why is it that we have the best intentions to make these significant changes but always seem to fall short?
Below, our personal trainer Elliot is going to discuss some of the common issues that we come up against and how to combat them to ensure that we achieve want we want this year.
Step 1: Stop calling them a ‘New Year Resolution’
I’m pretty certain that as soon as you say to someone that you’re going to set a fitness ‘New Year Resolution’ their initial response is a bit of a joke or a ‘relatively negative’ comment such as ‘let’s see how long this lasts.’
This might not just come from the people around you, this might already be what you’re telling yourself in your head. The term New Year Resolution has a negative stigma around it and unfortunately this is the subconscious association that we as society have of these resolutions.
If you need more convincing on this concept, what is the first thing you think of when I say marriage…? I’m guessing at least 75% of you said divorce. Because events perhaps in our lives and the lives of others would suggest this – it’s sad but true.
The mind is more powerful than we know, and if we want to have the best chance of achieving what we want this year we need to use a term with more meaning. What you can do instead is call them ‘goals’ and you even break them down into short, medium and long term goals. We’ll touch on this later…
So now when someone asks if you have any fitness New Year’s Resolutions, you can respond by saying you have some goals and a plan in place to achieve those, and I’ll bet the response may be a little more positive.
Choose one or two things that are important to YOU. In a survey done by Nielsen in 2005 the top five resolutions were:
- Stay fit and healthy
- Lose weight
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Spend less, save more
- Spend more time with family and friends
I’m sure most of us will want to do all of these things, and they may also seem relatively reasonable and attainable. But what we don’t do is break these goals down and actually see what is required to take them from thought to reality.
As a basic goal these may seem easy to attain, but once broken down they may require more effort than initially envisioned, making setting so many goals problematic.
Need convincing once again?
Try juggling with five balls when you have little experience, perhaps none at all in juggling… Now try juggling with two balls, chances are you’re going to have far more success when your effort and attention is only required for two balls.
With this being said, you need to choose one or two that are the most important to YOU, not anyone else, YOU.
Step 2: Create an action plan
What’s the difference between a dream and a goal?
Goals require action, dreams on the other hand are imaginary… You can dream of being Superman but unless you were born on Krypton it’s probably not going to happen… Unfortunately.
If you ever want to achieve anything significant, it will require some type of planning depending on the size of the goal and the length of time in which you want to achieve it, etc.
You must be clear and concise about what you want with your fitness. For example it’s not enough to just want to lose weight. You need to know how much you want to lose, when you want to lose it by, what you’re willing to do to achieve this. Once you know this you can then go about setting short, medium and long term targets.
For example, say you want to run a marathon, 26.219 miles may seem like a long distance to run, but five lots of five miles with one extra mile which adrenaline is more than likely going to take care of sounds a lot nicer right? Especially when you have an idea and a target of how long each set of five miles will take.
Your fitness goal may seem like a marathon at the moment but once broken down into smaller goals they’ll seem a lot easier to achieve.
Let’s take someone who wants to lose two stone of body weight through resistance training and nutrition/lifestyle optimisation.
They will need to lose a total of 12.7kg which is roughly 28lbs.
They have a holiday booked in four months time, so they’d be looking at losing 1.5-2lbs a week for 16 weeks, which would be around 7lbs each month.
28lbs sounds like a significant amount of weight, but 1.5-2lbs a week sounds reasonable. Forty-eight training sessions may sound like a lot, but training 3x a week doesn’t really. Tracking your nutrition for over 140 days sounds like a lot, but tracking daily doesn’t.
I think you can see where I’m going here…
Get a clear concise picture about what the end goal looks like, find out what the steps are required to get there, then break down the steps into attainable targets.
What ever it is you decide to choose as your goal for this year learn to enjoy the process and if things don’t go as initially planned, remind yourself why you chose the goal in the first place and get right back on track!
I wish you a healthy and prosperous 2018!