It’s that time of year again, everyone sets out to make this the year of big change. You set loads of goals, your diet’s going to be spotless, you have joined the gym and signed up to every class and the cupboards have been emptied of all chocolate biscuits and crisps. Nothing will get in your way, or will it?
I have nothing against setting New Years resolutions to get healthier and fitter, to actively eat a bit better or to try and lose a few pounds. However, is going out all guns blazing on January 1st the best way to achieve your goals? I don’t believe so.
In order to make the changes, you have to assess the life you have been living up until now and who you are as a person. If you have been working all hours, not getting enough sleep, skipping the gym and bingeing at weekends, cutting everything out and ramping up the time you ideally want to spend at the gym, may not be realistic for the long term sustainability. I believe that setting small achievable targets and goals, that fit around you and your lifestyle, lead to far greater change than trying to change everything you do with little regard to your life and the life you want to live.
You may think that the bigger the goal the bigger the changes but you need to look at the long term goal. If gymming 4 times a week, cooking every meal from scratch each night, having a healthy cooked breakfast each morning, getting 8 hours of sleep a night and drinking 3 litres of water a day seems like a lot to read in one go, imagine trying to implement these changes all at once into your life. You may think having a healthy sit down breakfast is the ultimate aim, but aiming to get the extra half an hours sleep may be more beneficial to your lifestyle.
Make things easy for yourself. Enjoy life, if you want a biscuit, have one but maybe your resolution could be to stop at one and put the packet away. Little changes to make your life enjoyable and to get fitter and healthier will ultimately be easier to maintain.
So my tips for you. Make one small change each month throughout 2018 that you can stick to, that fits into your lifestyle. By the end of the year, thats 12 things ticked off your list that seamlessly fit into your life. Long term achievement over short term gains.
A few goals that may help you to get started:
–Aim for at least 2 well planned exercise sessions a week
–Drink at least 2 litres of water a day (buy a big bottle… it will help)
–Maintain a steady bedtime routine, go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time every night.
–Plan your lunches, stop buying lunch out everyday. Make a larger dinner and have the leftovers for lunch.
–Try a new fitness thing each month. Yoga, swimming, running, boxing etc. You may find a new passion.
–Eat more fruit and vegetables. Aim to eat something with each meal.
–Cook more meals from scratch at home.
–Try a new recipe each month.
–Only drink alcohol at weekends.
–Get more steps in each day. Park further away from work, take a walk on your lunch break or just get outside more when you can.
–Have more fun. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. Go to a trampoline park, visit your local National Trust House or Gardens, play football in the park with your children.
–Take time to read a book. Instead of looking at your phone or TV each night, spend half an hour reading a book.
–Take time to be grateful. Realise and embrace all the good things in your life, even when you think there aren’t many things to be grateful for, you may be surprised. Look after you mind and soul not just your body.
Check out my previous post on getting started at the gym.