New Year Resolutions are easier to break than make. That is the thinking of a wide range of people from fitness trainers through to newspaper journalists. According to the International Authority for Professional Coaching and Mentoring, 80 per cent of resolutions are abandoned by the end of January.
New Year Resolutions – a good starting point
However, at Kelsey Kerridge we believe that in order to make changes in your life that will leave you healthier, fitter and happier, then New Year Resolutions are as good a place to start as anywhere.
Our team of fitness professionals in the Outlooks Gym believe the best way to keep New Year Resolutions is to set incremental, achievable goals and make those goals measurable. Incremental, achievable goals mean that you can get the motivational buzz of reaching a target regularly; measurable goals mean that you can actually see your progress. That is also a mighty strong motivational factor.
Look at the bigger picture
When setting your goals, do bear in mind the bigger picture. Take for example, weight loss. You might have the long-term aim of losing two stone. That is not going to happen in four weeks during January. But you can seek to lose two pounds in January, which is a good step along the way to the longer term goal of two stone by the end of the year.
It is also important that you understand why you are setting yourself goals. You might say you want to get fitter, but ask yourself why? Is it to take part in a challenging run later in the year? Is it so you can play football with your kids in the park? Is it to lower cholesterol? If you know the reason behind your New Year Resolution, you will feel much more motivated to achieve your goals.
Getting the measure of your achievements
Measuring progress is really important when it comes to staying motivated and on track. Sometimes the progress is measurable in ways you hadn’t thought of. For example: you might have taken up the Couch to 5K challenge with a view to losing weight. But suddenly you notice that you can run up the stairs without getting out of breath. Another example could be in the way your clothes fit you. You might be looking to lose weight, but actually the training you are doing is actually re-shaping you. Suddenly your shoulder muscles are more defined and your calf muscles are well-shaped. Your weight might not have dropped, but you are looking and feeling better.
It is a good idea to take a photo of yourself regularly so you can see the change for yourself.
Commit to New Year Resolutions
Commitment to your New Year Resolutions is key. That is easy to say but harder to do. The best way to keep committed is to take it steady and accept you will have off days. The temptation is to rush out on 1st January in your new training gear and hit the gym at full force. A week later, you are aching, everything hurts and you never want to go on a treadmill again. Take it steady and build up both the amount of time you spend training and the intensity of the session.
Gradual change works best
You must also accept that you cannot make wholesale changes to your lifestyle and expect it to stick. If you have eaten chocolate biscuits at your tea break every day for 10 years, then suddenly stopping is not going to work. Instead, cut down the intake of foods that you wish to remove from your diet. Only have chocolate biscuits every other day. Then make it every Wednesday and Friday, then cut them out expect for special occasions.
There is no reason why New Year Resolutions shouldn’t work. It is just a case of making them achievable and then celebrating each successful step along the way.