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How to achieve your New Years resolutions
Ok so we’ve all been there, the clock strikes 12 on the 31st Dec and we all make a list as long as our arm of what are going to achieve within the coming year. The list usually involves: new body, new Job, quitting smoking, drinking less, no more cursing, earning more. These New Year’s resolutions are all fantastic, but there is only one problem, most people try to achieve them all at the same time and then get disheartened when they fail.
First off, it’s taken you however many years to create whichever bad habit it is that you dislike, so you are not going to change that particular habit over night; it will take time, small changes and consistency before you see results.
Secondly, it is important that you pick the one single habit, which by changing will have the largest, immediate and most dramatic effect on your life. Then just focus on that one goal only, you will not only have a clearer mindset, but you will not let yourself down. Constantly failing at a goal lowers the self esteem and usually creates more bad habits in the long run.
Here are a few pointers to help you achieve your goals:
Be very specific about your goal, there is no point is just saying “I wanna be healthier”, that is the equivalent of setting out on a road trip with a map in hand but with no specific location that you want to reach. So you need to be specific about what it means to you to be healthier: does healthier to you mean lower blood pressure? Being able to run/walk 5 miles? Losing weight? Quitting smoking? Eating more fruit and Vegetables? Having less stress in your life? Basically, whatever your goal is, it is important that you are specific about the details and that you can clearly see yourself reaching the goal.
This leads me swiftly onto my next point, your goal needs to be achievable, if it’s not achievable you will never reach it. Sounds obvious? But you will be surprised by how many people set unachievable goals and then constantly let themselves down in the process. Now I keep bringing up the latter point, about letting yourself down, and that is because it is really important that you don’t do exactly that! There are enough people in this life that will let you down and not think twice about it, so don’t become one of them. You need to become a person that you can rely on, love and trust. So if you’re used to being let down by others and especially yourself you should try first of all to set a very small easily achievable goal. Let me give you some examples:
All of the above goals are easily achievable and will make a huge difference to your well being, but most importantly once you have achieved them you will start to grow more confident in your own abilities and be able to trust yourself again.
So you have your larger goal in mind and you know you can achieve small goals quite easily. The next part is very simple: you achieve your larger goal through a sequence of smaller goals.
Write down the following:
What is your goal?
E.g. weight loss
What bad habits do you have that stop you reaching your weight loss goal?
E.g. I don’t exercise, I don’t drink enough water, I get bored in the evening so I overeat, I eat too much junk food, I skip breakfast, I comfort eat.
How long have you had these bad habits?
E.g. 17 years.
How long do you realistically think it will take you to change these Habits?
E.g. 12 months minimum.
Now you know which habits are negativley affecting your life, here is how to write yourself an achievable 12 month plan and stick to it.
Walk to/from station or commit to 1-2 exercise sessions per week.
Drink 4 large glasses of water a day.
Have a small fruit smoothie for breakfast 5 days a week.
Commit to 3 exercise sessions a week, preferably in the evening to ease boredom and prevent overeating.
Drink 5 glasses of water daily
Stick with the fruit smoothie and have a salad with your lunch instead of fries for example.
Stick with the evening exercise session and get yourself a pedometer, wear it all day and check that you are walking at least 5000 – 10000 steps throughout the day.
Drink 6 glasses of water a day.
Stick with the fruit smoothie, salad instead of junk at lunch and cut back on starchy white carbohydrates after 6pm.
Ok, so you can see where I am going with this plan and i am sure you can imagine how you are going to look and feel about yourself after the 12 months have passed. It will be worth the effort i promise you, so make the effort to break it down, write it down and get on with it.
This leads me nicely on to my final point: Action, Consistency and Mindfulness.
Your New you plan is beautiful on paper, but if you want it to become a reality it requires ACTION. You must stick to your goals, don’t be tempted to try and change your life over night and also don’t be tempted to believe that one day you will wake up feeling and looking exactly how you want without you putting your plans into ACTION.
Remember to set small goals that you can consistently achieve, if you are not achieving them, your goals are too large, so make them smaller. Consistency is the key to any life changing plan, we are all human and we are all likely to muck up once in a while, thats fine as long as you consistently pick yourself up and carry on with your plan; not on Monday morning, not the next day, but right then in that moment when you realise that your plan has gone pear shaped. CONSISTENCY.
Be mindful of your actions whenever you can, your actions are what makes your life what it is today – be mindful of the foods that you eat, be mindful about how you speak about yourself and others and be mindful about how much effort you put into your life in general.
Remember that 12 months, 3 years, 10 years will pass anyway and ask yourself this “Do you still want to be in the same situation?”
Thank you and feel free to leave comments or ask questions.
Faye believes each body requires a minimum input of a particular essential fitness ingredient, be it: a cleaner diet, clearer mindset, better scheduled training sessions, more relaxation, some functional training or just a general lifestyle tweak or two.