7 Tips To Avoid The Common New Year's Resolution Mistakes
New year is a perfect time for a fresh start. With the indulgences of the festive season behind us, many of us think about making positive changes to our health and fitness.
Sadly, when the initial burst of enthusiasm wanes and when life once again takes over, our efforts can taper off and are soon forgotten. An estimated 80% of new year’s resolutions fail by February!
So where does it all go wrong and how can we avoid the common pitfalls?
1. Be Clear In Your Goals
Having a vague notion of losing weight or getting fitter doesn’t give you much to measure against or even a clear picture of what those goals will look or feel like. Want to start running? Book yourself in for a race or a set a distance to work towards.
Want to lose weight? Decide what clothing size you’d like to fit into.
As well as focusing on a definitive goal, take some time to explore why, what it will mean to you and what positive impacts it will have in your life. Sometimes digging a little deeper in this way can help you discover what you really want!
For example, it’s all very well deciding you want to lose 5kg; but focusing on that may not be enough motivation. Thinking of feeling more comfortable in your clothes, more confident, getting fitter and more energised to run around with your kids, however, may drive you to eat more healthily and step up your workouts.
2. Don’t Try To Change Everything All At Once
Riding on the new year resolutions energy surge it’s hugely tempting to try to change everything at once. Making a healthy lunch every day for work, going to bed earlier each night, working out 5 days a week may all be habits to help you reach your goal; but do they all need to be started at once?
In reality bringing everything in at once can be hugely overwhelming and changing so many different habits all at once requires a lot of energy. Decide on your priorities and select one or two changes at a time to focus on. Allow these to bed in and start to become habits before considering bringing in anything new.
3. Be Realistic About What’s Sustainable
Usually by the end of January many of us are exhausted by all the effort we’ve been putting in. You may decide that what you’re doing is not sustainable once work or life gets in the way (especially if you’ve tried to change everything all at once).
If you’re not starting to see results after a month, frustration can also lead to throwing in the towel. Instead of giving up, consider seeking support from a professional.
As a nutritional therapist and personal trainer people are often surprised that I gain more new clients in February than January, but it’s often for this very reason.
4. Be Prepared
Once you’ve decided on your resolutions and goals, it’s time to consider what you’ll need to get started come 1st January. Making dietary changes? Time to source some recipes, make a shopping list and stock up with the food you’ll need. Starting a workout programme? Get in touch with a trainer, book into some classes, find some workout videos or exercise plans.
5. Be Held Accountable
Accountability can be an important factor in achieving your goals, but this may work differently for different people.
Some may want to declare their goals and intentions on social media, to friends and colleagues; whilst others may prefer a more low key, private approach, confiding in one or two close family members or friends. Find out what works best for you to get the right kind of support.
6. Give Yourself Regular Check-ins
Take some time to review your progress each week, fortnight or month to see what’s working well and what might need adjusting. Photos can be a great way to do this if you’re working towards physical changes, and videos can help you see fitness or strength improvements. Consider setting yourself some mini goals to keep you motivated towards the big goal.
For example, if you’re training to run a half marathon, book yourself in for a 10 and 15k race along the way.
7. Invest Wisely
An at home exercise machine may seem like a great idea in the January sale, but it may not be necessary and could become a very expensive clothes rail!
Think about what additional resources you may need to achieve your goals or if there are any areas you might struggle with. When considering the costs of your investment, work out how much your goals are worth to you.
There are numerous health and fitness resources both on and offline but for a fully personalised approach and for additional accountability, consider getting support from a nutritional therapist, personal trainer or coach. Looking to get healthy and lose weight in the New Year? Head over to You Nutritional Therapy Facebook page and register for the 5 Day January Kickstart!