It’s that time of year again… The time when we start thinking about New Year’s resolutions, and whether we should make them. Perhaps it’s the over-indulgence from parties and family meals, or the idea of new beginnings that makes us want to change our habits. Or maybe it’s the combination of both that create the ‘perfect storm’ for health-related resolutions.
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Whatever the reason, we’ve all heard the depressing statistics… less than 10% of people actually achieve their new year’s resolution. In fact, over a quarter of people quit within their first week! It may feel like the odds are against you, and for some it’s enough to stop them even trying. But there ARE ways to stack these odds in your favor. There are practical strategies that make you much more likely to succeed, so that you actually stick with your new year’s resolution throughout January and beyond. In this article we’re going to share 5 of the most effective ones, so you can be one of the 10% who actually do smash their goals!
#1 – Find Something You Love
There’s nothing more demoralizing than feeling forced into doing something. Whether it’s pounding on a treadmill or eating lettuce for lunch, if you don’t enjoy it then you’re unlikely to stick with it for the long-term.
So don’t do something you hate just because you ‘should’ or feel like you ‘have to’. That’s a recipe for quitting. Instead, find a way to achieve your goal by doing something you actually enjoy. If the idea of a traditional gym workout doesn’t inspire you, then find an alternative option that does. Perhaps group classes like CBXT+ and Spinning might be more your thing? Or exercising outdoors and getting out and about in nature? It might be as simple as choosing a different cardio machine to mix things up, such as a rower or a bike.
Finding something you love may take a little time. It might mean trying new things until you do find something you truly enjoy. But once you do, it’ll never feel like hard work or something you have to ‘endure’, so will be well worth the wait.
#2 – Have A Plan
The biggest mistake we see people make with goal-setting is not having a plan. They have an idea of something they’d like to achieve, but it’s usually a bit vague like ‘getting healthier’ or ‘losing weight’. Don’t get us wrong, these are worthwhile endeavours – they’re just not very actionable.
Instead of choosing a lofty end goal, we suggest breaking it down into practical steps. If you’d like to lose weight, then what will you actually do to achieve it? This is where devising a plan comes into play…
Work backwards from your end goal to an everyday action. What small steps can you take daily that’ll contribute to weight loss? Planning your meals, batch preparing ahead of time, or learning 2-3 new healthy recipes are all things that’ll help you achieve your goal. It’s these practicalities that you need to implement, so make a plan and then stick with it.
#3 – Make Yourself Accountable
Accountability can make a huge difference to goal achievement. For many of us there’s no repercussion if we don’t stick with our resolution. We simply give up and feel disappointed in ourselves, then move on and forget…
According to the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone. This increases to 95% if you set a specific accountability appointment with the person you’ve committed to. This shows just how important accountability can be in achieving your resolutions.
Personal trainers make ideal accountability partners. Not only are they specialists in health and fitness, but they won’t be afraid to call you out when you’re not delivering on your goals. Group classes can also be a great way to improve accountability. We often push ourselves harder when other people around, since we hold ourselves accountable to the standards of the group.
#4 – Pre-Empt The Barriers
It’s inevitable that you’ll face barriers along your health journey. You’ll get busy, sick, or unmotivated. There’s bound to be a week where things don’t go to plan, or you lose your mojo. Life is unpredictable and things can get in the way of your resolutions, but that doesn’t mean they have to trip you up completely…
The key is to identify these pitfalls in advance, and accept that willpower can only take you so far. If you know your schedule is hectic, or you’ve struggled with making time in the past, then plan around it from the beginning. Batch prepare healthy meals at the weekend, so you always have a nutritious option in the freezer. Find a quick but effective workout, that you can fit in at lunch or between other commitments.
#5 – Track Your Progress
Many people lose motivation if they don’t see results quickly. It’s totally understandable too – you put in hour at the gym and eat really well all week, but just don’t see a difference in the mirror. Unfortunately our bodies take time to adapt and adjust. It can be several weeks before we notice the difference in ourselves or our waistband – but this is where progress tracking comes in.
Tracking your workouts allows you to see the progress you’re making in other ways. Ticking off a healthy habit everyday helps you to visualize how you’re advancing towards your target. It also helps with consistency, which is crucial to any health-related goal.
You won’t always notice weight loss within a week. But you will notice the neat row of ticks on your progress chart. Whether you track your progress with an app, fitness band, or good old fashioned pen and paper, you’ll get a sense of satisfaction from seeing your numbers improve. In our classes you can see your workout data right on the big screen, so it’s easy to record exactly what you did and then try to beat it next time.
However you choose to approach new year’s resolutions, it’s important to treat them as a lifestyle change. Quick fixes never work over the long term – developing healthy habits is a much more sustainable approach. If you have a resolution that you’d like help with, then feel free to ask one of our team members for advice. We’d love to help you with one, two, or all five of the areas we’ve covered today!