So the New Year resolutions haven't been going quite to plan. But don't give up just yet. Get goal-setting now and you could end the year having achieved your fitness dreams. We find out how to stop procrastinating and succeed in getting the body you want.
No matter how many lists you make or dates you set up on your calendar, if there is an underlying issue preventing you from working out then your great plans may come to nothing. Before you set your goals, make an honest appraisal of what's stopped you in the past. Write out a list of factors which could stop you exercising and identify the best ways to overcome them.
Get more energy
If you find you break your exercise promises because you just don't have the energy to get to the gym, take a look at what you're eating. Sugary and fatty foods will not help you on your exercise quest, as they'll spike your blood sugar to make you feel energetic for a short time, then crash, leaving you listless and craving more. Break the cycle by eating a balanced mix of protein, carbs and healthy fats. Think porridge or eggs for breakfast, a sandwich or jacket potato for lunch, and fish, chicken or tofu with vegetables for dinner.
When you're bored to tears pounding away on the treadmill or dreading the thought of your morning swim, you're much more likely to quit. Exercise should be something you look forward to, as a way of challenging your body, having fun and relieving stress. Get some group motivation by joining a regular weekly class or working out with friends. Try classes where you learn a new skill, such as Zumba, fencing or martial arts.
You're more likely to give up if you hate what you wear to work out in. A shabby pair of jogging bottoms and an old T-shirt won't put you in the mood to do your best if you get too hot or uncomfortable wearing them. Choose sweat-wicking fabrics and go for a gait assessment to check you're wearing the right type of trainers.
Make a playlist
Get yourself in the mood to workout and avoid boredom by revamping your playlist every month. If you're looking for motivation, choose up tempo songs to spur you on your way - the cheesier the better. If it's raining outside and you're due to go for a jog, put on your cagoule, crank up Eye of the Tiger and channel Rocky Balboa.
One a month
Have a small but significant goal for every month of the year. For example, if you want to lose weight try walking an extra half hour a day in addition to a sensible diet. Over the course of the next month, try a beginners' jogging programme three times a week to build up your fitness and increase the distance you run in the following months. If you increase your goals gradually, you'll have a much better chance of success.