So Christmas is over….. you’ve got all your brand new exercise gear on…. you’ve used your itunes vouchers to download some inspirational tracks…. you’re hyped up, all set and ready to get fit.
But you don’t where to start? You need a STRATEGY.
First off – you need to set a goal. Not just any old goal. A SMART goal.
Saying “I just want to lose a bit of weight and tone up a bit” is so vague, that you’ll eventually fail. Events are a great catalyst. Weddings, holidays, big life events. These things are important to you so it’s important to look forward to them with confidence and positive energy. So maybe have a think about what you have coming up in YOUR life….
Then set a SMART goal to get there.
So going back to good old…. “I just want to lose a bit of weight and tone up a bit”… It’s not specific enough, there are no measurables involved, it IS attainable, but because its so vague it’s hard to tell how realistic it is as there is no time frame. Tracking progress is hugely important to help you achieve your goal, to make the right changes at the right time and to help you understand what your body responds to.
So how about this one instead:
“I want to drop a dress size before (wedding/party/holiday/life event) on Saturday 26th March”
Measurable…. One dress size has to go.
Realistic…. One dress sized in 12 weeks is a more than achievable.
Time…. you’ve set a target of 12 weeks
Now you have your goal (what you want to achieve), time to think about the strategy (how you’re going to achieve it).
The key here is to create healthy habits. Just like you can form a bad habit, you can very easily train your mind and body into forming healthy ones.
So start by targeting your weak points – this is a great strategy for nutrition coaching. For example: If you know your snacking is bad, and you always go for an unhealthy option mid-morning or mid-afternoon, aim to work as hard as you can for one week on making healthy swaps. Have a look around the internet for healthy snack idea’s and make some changes.
Focus only on this for a week. Forget about everything else, just focus on this one weakness – whatever it may be. Then once that has become a healthy habit, move on to the next one.
Sounds weird right, because ‘going on a diet’ is all about change…. throwing out all the bad stuff and getting as much as the good stuff as possible.
I believe that the WORST thing you can do is try to change everything at once. This is the quickest way to fail. I believe that once you’ve formed a healthy habit, the next one will be even easier to stick to. And before you know it, instead of making wholesale changes that are unrealistic and too hard to stick with and make you feel like crap when you fail….. over the course of four, six, eight weeks, you’ve managed to successfully reprogram yourself into a number of healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes.
You’ve set yourself up to succeed.
I’ve used nutrition there as an example but the same applies for any exercise program. Find something you LOVE doing, find like minded people to train with, create a solid support network, be around positive people with the same goals as you and you’ll find your program easy to stick to. Because when you do have the occasional blip, or bad week or fall off the wagon (it will happen, we all do it) – you won’t waste energy hating yourself for it, as it will be a lot easier to pick everything back up.
You’ll never be perfect at everything, but if each time your try to be better, and you work harder, and you have determination and focus, you’re guaranteed to make excellent progress.
And above all else – the one thing that everyone needs in some way, shape or form, is professional help. If your car broke down, you take it to a mechanic. If you have some kind of injury you go to the doctor. So why is it any different when you need health and fitness advice? Your health is way too important to guess at what’s right for you.
So there are my tips to succeed in 2016. Take accountability of your current state and then set a SMART goal with a strategy that is suited to your lifestyle in order to achieve it. It ain’t rocket science. It’s about being honest with yourself and aiming to be a little bit better at everything you aim to do.
Thanks for reading!
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