It’s that time of the year again… ‘New Year, New Me’, trying to persuade yourself that this is the year you get fit, even though you probably said this to yourself the year before, and the year before that, oh, and the year before that… You see where I’m going?
You’ve tried fad diets, already quit the gym by April and consistently buy into the ‘quick-fixes’ you read in magazines that tell you you can lose weight FAST if you follow these steps. Really?!
January is the time where the gym is packed full of newbies, full of people with the idea that this is the year they get fit, but for some reason, probably due to lack of motivation, consistency and knowledge, the gym is ‘empty’ again by Easter and all the January gym go-ers have left… Sound familiar?
Here are my top tips to help maximise long-term success!
1. Set yourself S.M.A.R.T goals
These are the basic rules to live by if you want long-term success.
Specific – be precise in your goals. For example, if you want to improve on athletic performance then set a goal of “running a 10k in under an hour”, or if your goal is losing weight, then “lose 1 stone in the next 10 weeks”.
Measurable – losing weight and improving athletic performance are easily measurable. Try not to set goals that are difficult to measure, such as looking like a particular celebrity or improving your immune system. These are difficult to measure and therefore unlikely to be attainable.
Achievable – be realistic. You are more likely to quit if you set yourself goals that are unattainable. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, then make sure you are being realistic in what you can achieve in a healthy way. After all, being healthy and happy is the most important thing.
Relevant – make sure your goals are for you and you only. Don’t just set yourself a goal because someone else is doing it. If they are not relevant to you, you will be less motivated, and therefore you will not reach them. Think about what you want to achieve and why, and how your goals can help you get there.
Time-based – make sure your goals have a specific time-frame for completion. Without this, motivation and willingness to exercise will take a hard hit.
2. Be prepared both Physically and Mentally
For long-term success, you need both of these to work together. Be confident in what you are doing, participate in exercise you enjoy, and seek encouragement from those closest to you. This way you are bound to succeed!
3. Be practical for you
Make yourself a plan that works for you and your work-life balance. For example, I know that I’m less motivated to work out after work, so I go to the gym before. As I have a 9 – 5 job, I plan my lunches and snacks for the week, and what I want to eat and when. Planning is essential.
4. Don’t rush
Be easy on yourself. Remember, it is a slow process and it won’t be easy, but stick with it a progression and hitting targets will come. Rushing into your goals will only lead to failure! Always remember the reason why you started, and by sticking to realistic and achievable goals, success and a healthy lifestyle will come along with it! For long-terms success, consistency and perseverance is key.
5. Embrace the lifestyle change!
It is not a ‘quick-fix’. Be more mindful of what you are doing and eating. But most importantly don’t be strict. Allow yourself that slice of cake if you really want it. If you are making the right choices most of the time, you can allow yourself to indulge every so often!
I hope some of these points can help you stay on track for the New Year. Let me know what you think!