Tis the season of goal setting, new year’s resolutions- whatever you want to call them. You’ll get lots of advice and warnings about this, and people repeating things they have read and heard, but the reality is there is no right of wrong way of doing things, you’ve got to find your own way. And whilst you are finding your own way, consider what you have done before and what you learnt which can empower you to make better decisions in 2019.
Having worked in the health and fitness industry for over 20 years, I wrote this blog to share my learnings and advice about change. Feel free to use and apply what resinates with you to improve your chances of success.
I’m told that biologically this time of year is not the best time to make changes- when you feel lethargic, ill/ hungover and semi- hibernated. I can see the thinking behind this, yet many people feel this desperation to change in January and it would be rude to ignore it. Most people have over indulged and let exercise habits slip with the change of routine, different demands and pace of the festive period. Now clothes are too tight, people have had enough and are ready to get back on track. This is reflected in the magazine and newspaper articles, the TV programs aired and the products being marketed to you. (Just like the Christmas stuff from November!) If you feel like this, then it’s a good idea to capitalise on this focus.
Be it desperation or motivation, I’m always keen to help people to turn this into perspiration and if you are keen to put in the effort there are many things that you can do for yourself to get yourself back on track.
The reality is that whether you have overspent, over indulged or been inactive, we are all busting to feel fit and healthy again- for many people this prospect can seem overwhelming as they don’t know where to start or their goal feels far out of reach.
Maybe you feel frustrated by this desire to start, but are unable to do so- with the extra bodies still at home, work on the horizon, worrying about your email back log etc. As a parent it can feel stressful being so behind with everything, and needing to find space for the extra ‘stuff’ in your house.
So what’s the best way to go about this today? How can you capitalise on your motivation when time is limited, energy is low and finances are tight?
Here are my top 3 tips to get back on track:
- Write your goals down and pick them off one by one. You can give yourself a big boost by setting your goals properly. You may want loads of things so get them all out of your head and on the page – in a list if you like, and then pick them off one by one. Being clear about what you want and knowing why you want it will help you to focus. When you are more focused you are less distracted and able to make better decisions in relation to your goal. You can choose where to focus your energy and time and where to spend your money. This will help you to create long-term habits, which require minimum effort to maintain. #Bullseye!
- Tackle the biggest ‘lever’.Which behaviour will affect all of the others? Maybe this is exercise; perhaps it is improving your diet. What is easiest for you to start to take action on? For most people there is always one change, which has the biggest impact and affects your other goals. For example, you may find it hard to change your diet, but when you exercise it motivates you to eat better because you don’t want to spoil all your hard work at the gym. Perhaps exercising also motivates you to get to bed earlier and the process of planning and getting all your stuff ready can help you to feel more in the mood for planning and organising your food for work etc. Be smart about what you choose to take action on first- and don’t kid yourself either!
- Get outdoors. So many people feel exhausted and overloaded over the Christmas period. Of course it’s great to have a rest and break from the routine, but many people struggle with this too and sedentary winter hobbies – TV series marathons and social gatherings can leave you feeling flat and tired. Make a pact to get away from all the ‘stuff’ like artificial lights, tech, noisy toys, and high calorie foods in the cupboards and move your body. My kids often moan at the prospect of this too, but don’t let this be a barrier. They always enjoy it when we have left the house and the mood and energy improves. And don’t just do this on New Years day! Think about how you could build this as a habit – as part of your working day – or family time on the weekend. This could serve you well throughout the year.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2019 🙂 .