January is panic season in gyms across the country. Millions of us set ourselves new years resolutions and by March around 80% of us have already given up so here are a few tips to help you see it through and become one of the 20%, a winner.
Ask yourself – What is motivating me to set this target, why have I decided to make these changes to my lifestyle? Be honest with yourself and keep your answer in the forefront of your mind. Weeks or months down the line when you may hit a motivational speed bump, reminding yourself of why you started down this road can be enough to push through the barrier.
Set an achievable target – Target setting can be tricky, with people often setting themselves goals that are too vague or completely unrealistic. Set yourself a specific goal to achieve within a time frame, here are some examples, run a 5km in under 30 minutes by the end of August; lose 2 stone in weight by July; squat 100kg for 10 reps by November. Once you have your target, display it somewhere where you will see it on a daily basis. Now take your overall target and break it down into manageable chunks that you can measure on a more regular basis, for example, run 1km each week in January; lose 2lbs in January; squat 60kgs for 10 reps weekly in January. By breaking up your main goal into smaller targets you will be able to keep track of your progress towards your big target.
Plan your schedule for each week, it holds you accountable. Sounds simple, but I cannot stress how important this step is. Everyone is busy and I am certainly not saying plan your life around exercise, quite the opposite. By taking the time to see when you can fit in even 30 minutes of exercise you are mentally preparing yourself for the upcoming task and are more likely to see it through.
Mix it up, keep it fun and try something new. Of course, you are more likely to stick at something if you enjoy it, so if you really don’t enjoy an aspect of your programme, change it. Don’t like running as the cardiovascular section of your plan? Jump on a Spinning bike instead. Try to do something you have never even considered before, you may surprise yourself. There are so many activities, clubs and societies out there to get involved in. Have you tried taking up a martial art? Maybe Pilates or swimming could be your thing or even power-lifting. At the very least you’ll meet some new people.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Personal Trainers and Fitness Professionals are there to help, so utilise them. You could book in for 1 to 1 personal training to kick start your regime or simply ask for help in writing up an exercise plan. Never be afraid to ask, there is always more to know when it comes to health and fitness. Small tips, such as correcting poor lifting techniques, can make a huge difference.
Review your targets regularly to check your progress and don’t be afraid to make changes now that you have started, even if it means stepping your overall goal back, to reflect realistically how much progress you are making.
Treat Yourself. When you hit one of those little goals make sure you reward yourself, whether it’s by having a victory take-away that Friday night or drinks with you partner, reward your hard work and each time you do, look back at how far you have come, even baby steps eventually add up to a mile.
Hopefully, something above will help you keep on track throughout the upcoming year. Everyone has off days and we all get disheartened once in a while, but if you have the right attitude and can consistently push through, you will be a winner.