According to Statistic Brain Research Institute the number one new year's resolution in 2015 was Lose Weight. It also showed that of those who took part in the research only 75% of people maintained the resolution through the first week, with the number dropping to just 46% after 6 months. This cycle can almost seem like a whimsical tradition for many, the running joke being how quickly did you give up this time. But if you truly want a real change in your lifestyle this can seem like a cycle of defeat and failure; making it appear more and more unlikely, as the new years' pass you, that you'll ever reach your goal.
Well, it's time to stop this cycle by changing the way you approach setting your goals! So before you make any fitness resolutions, check out this advice from Personal Trainer Paul Cheesman and I in a new episode of PT Pause.
I truly believe most people fail at maintaining the resolutions because the resolution is often too general or too far-reaching, and requires too much change too quickly. Perhaps we don't really think about what it's going to take to change a lifetime habit, or we want fast results. But the key to any goal is to first understand what it is you want to do - when you say you want to 'tone up' do you mean lose body fat or gain muscle definition? When you say you want to get fitter... do you mean you want to be more agile or stronger? Because the approach to achieving your target could be very different depending on what your goal is. Just ask an Olympic long distance runner compared to a weightlifter about their training and eating habits.
There are many ways to a strong physique but people often forget to ask themselves what do I want, and what do I like doing? As there's no point paying for 6 months of Spinning classes when you hate cycling! But there are simple methods to combat these roadblocks, and here are my 5 top tips for making lifestyle changes instead of temporary ones.
1) Define your objective with details - research different training types, look at the results people have had doing it, and choose an activity you'll actually enjoy. For instance if you want upper body strength, hate the gym but like outdoors, try rock climbing... There are many paths to fitness.
2)Don't be afraid to ask for help - seek out a health professional, and actually talk to the staff at your new gym. Don't be embarrassed or afraid they want to help you succeed!
3) Be realistic setting your goal - like limiting yourself to only eating chocolate 3 times a week instead of 5. Also don't set yourself rigid time scales to reach it by; your body will get there in its time. The smaller or more realistic the goal the more likely you are to succeed, and it won't be too much change that'll stress you out and cause you to quit!
4) Challenge yourself with mini monthly fitness targets - try running 1km faster than you did last month - lifting 1kg more. These are the building blocks to success and Consistency is the KEY to lifestyle change!
5) Don't beat yourself up if you've had a bad day... or week - you have the rest of your life to achieve this goal and God willing you have tomorrow to make a healthier choice. A trick I use is to make a healthy choice before I go to bed, doing a mini HIIT Workout, or taking the dog for a longer walk. Even eating a piece of fruit. So when I wake up the last memory I have is of me doing something positive.
So if you're one of the thousands of people wanting to change their lifestyle as we kick off 2016, I wish you the best of luck and hope this will be the time you really achieve your goal.
Happy New Year!