Today is the first Monday of the New Year, and apparently when most people start their new year’s resolutions. Gyms will be inundated with sign ups; I’ve already seen an increase in runners over the weekend. I’m sure health food sales increase, healthy recipe books are opened, booze sales decrease (most people I know have decided to have an alcohol free January) and so on.
Now as I have mentioned before, certain trainers will shoot this idea down or you may have heard friends say why bother, what’s the point you will only fail. And to be perfectly honest there IS every chance you will fail at what you have set out to achieve.
So why will you fail, what will stop you getting there and what will cause this knock on effects of not trying again…or worse to try the exact same thing next new year.
‘The definition of insanity is to try the same thing over and over again and expect different results’ Albert Einstein
How to stick to those resolutions
Whether or not you believe in New Year’s Resolutions, Goals are focus, without them you lack drive, direction and therefore motivation. You need a target otherwise you become lazy or stagnant. You need to know exactly where you are now, the benchmark and where you want to be by what time. You need to be able to measure this, somehow to make it comparable. I’m fitter than I was is ok, but you it’s not ‘ i can run 3 miles ten minutes faster than I did a month ago, otherwise how will you know when you get there?
This is why most people don’t get past February when they make these bold statements about running a marathon, or being 4 stone lighter, PLANNING.
This is the number one most effective tool for setting goals, at any time of the year and achieving them. This means planning your goals, planning what they are, planning on how to achieve them, planning on failing and planning on what to do when you do fail. Use the following process to make sure you stick to your guns this time:
Start with the Dream
Be bold with this one, this is your overall target & should be INSPIRATIONAL. This is the life changer that you should be continually striving for. Also think about the reason for this. Being slimmer is a goal but there must be an underlying reason? Being slimmer so I am confident enough to run about with my children on the beach is a lot more powerful than just being slimmer!
Goal setting should be for reasons that motivate you, not something you THINK you should be doing to please others. Why is this motivating to you, why will it improve your life or those around you. How will this change you? Ultimately is it worthwhile?
MEASURABLE – you can’t judge how you are doing without having some measure to gauge it by or to track your progress. How much, how many? Drop 10% body fat or get to a size 12
ATTAINABLE – are they really possible? Can they be achieved? You may need help with this part. Ask anyone for tips on if what you are planning is actually possible or how to make this work. I’m a size 18 now is 12 possible?
RELEVANT – will this set you in the direction that you want to be going? Are any separate goals working in the same direction? Will losing weight make me more energetic too?
TIME BOUND – set an overall deadline for you to complete this by, broken up by smaller ones as you go along. By the time I go on holiday in 6 months!
Identify behavioural change
What is required for you to achieve your specific targets – be more active, go to the gym, don’t drink as much, eat more healthily! Identify the traits required; what does the type of person who IS what you want to be like do?
You have to change your beliefs that might have stopped you before. ‘I’m not the type of person who can exercise regularly’. This will lead you to either look for alternatives…short cuts…cheats or it will start you out with a negative attitude toward the situation before you have even got going, the recipe for failure.
So FIRST step is to believe you can have those traits….then the changes can occur.
Break it down
Identify smaller short term aims that will work towards those specific goals – walk more, get of a stop earlier, go to the gym 3 times a week, don’t drink during the week, and work to these on a short term basis, this week I’m going to the gym on Mon, wed and Fri. I will only have 1 takeaway every 2 weeks.
Small steps will make the difference. Small changes become habits and habits lead to a behaviour which becomes a lifestyle.
Once these are up and running, target continuous specifics IN those – at the gym try to run further in 10mins, lift heavier than before, use more weight in body combat, walk more daily using a pedometer. Record what you have done and use it to make progress.
Write it down
Write your GOALS down and keep them where you will see them and be reminded regularly, also make yourself accountable for it, how? Easy the more people you tell the more you will make an effort to make sure you don’t fail…no one likes to be seen as a failure. Plus if these people are your friends, they will help you along the way. But be careful here, there have been several studies that have shown telling people isn’t necessarily a good thing, because when you are congratulated for making a decision, the satisfaction you feel can make you less likely to take action, the brain is tricked into feeling the hard work is already done and motivation can be lost!
So tell people what you are planning to DO to make this goal happen, i.e. I’ve decided to lose 4 stone this year….’yay, well done’ now becomes, ‘I’ve decided to start getting fit, by going to the gym twice a week to lose weight, and I want you to make sure I’m doing it’…’of course I will help’
Lastly plan and Allow for failure
Things come up, no one is perfect so every once in a while we have a setback. I have a birthday this month that I want to drink at; there will be a week when I will only go to the gym twice. But that’s all it is, a setback. As long as you keep these relatively few and far between and don’t let them de-rail the whole process they won’t make a difference to the overall picture.
So if you’ve made some New Year’s Resolutions then use this plan of action to make sure that this time next year you have well and truly achieved all you have set out to. If you want any help with setting your goals, if you want to share them with me so you are accountable then I’m happy to help here. Remember 80% of success is showing up (kind of)!
myfitnesspro – personal training in Epping, Theydon Bois, Loughton, Chigwell, Buckhurst Hill, Highams Park, Chingford, Woodford, South Woodford, Grange Hill, Woodford Bridge, Wanstead, Leytonstone, Walthamstow, Stratford, Bow, Mile End, Victoria Park, Canary Wharf, Canning Town, Docklands, E1, E2, E3, E4, E5, E8, E9, E10, E11, E14, E15, E17, E18, IG7, IG8, IG9, IG10 and all areas in between.
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