If the change of season has put a spring in your step, you may already be motivated to get healthy and energised for summer - only to get frustrated and give up after the first couple of weeks! Here are three mistakes to avoid when setting up your health and weight loss goals.
1. Aiming too high
It's tempting to base your goals on what you want to happen, instead of what you can achieve. But even if you were sylph-like in your youth, it's probably unrealistic to try to diet your way into your favourite jeans from high school. Likewise, if you have trouble running for a bus, planning to run half a marathon by the summer is probably a step (or a hobble) too far. You don't want to put yourself off exercise for life! This is a main reason why people quickly get demoralised and give up. So choose a goal you know you can aim for, rather than one you have no hope of achieving.
2. Over-facing yourself
Even a goal that's just within your reach can seem daunting when you first start out. Make it feel more doable by breaking it down into smaller goals that you can start right away. So if you are new to running, or haven't run for a while, start off at a pace you can manage and don't be too quick to add the distance. You may even want to start by alternating running with walking until you've built your stamina up. Remember, small steps add up to big results.
3. Not thinking it through
So many times we make things harder for ourselves by not planning ahead. Consider what could help you meet your goals - and equally what might get in your way. How can you prepare for these? For example, it may be hard to lose weight if your social life always revolves around food and drink particularly in the company of certain people - so why not suggest to family and friends you go for a walk instead? Or if you always find a last minute reason not to exercise, schedule your workout in your diary like your other commitments, or put out your running clothes out the night before. There's truth in the saying, preparation makes perfect.
Start small, keep trying and accept that establishing new habits can be hard. So even if it feels a struggle at first, try to stick with it until it comes more easily. For more help with goal setting join the www.vavistalife.com 12-week interactive general health or weight loss programmes. Modular and tailored to your needs, they deliver practical, science-baked advice to help you achieve lasting change.