6 tips to hitting your 2017 fitness goals
I always find this time of the year interesting listening to people talking about their goals after the holidays are over. ‘In 2017 I am going to include more mindfulness, run a marathon, eat more seeds’ whatever it is, most of us miss the mark. It is a fact that setting the goals is one thing, but achieving them is another. Planning the journey will give you a much better success rate than if you just set the goal. Losing weight or achieving a meaningful goal is no different to a child learning to walk. You take baby steps (pardon the pun). You fall and you get up again. You don’t see a child falling over and then just sit there and give up. “Stuff it I am just going to sit for the rest of my life!!!”. That said, read on to see how I suggest you get into great habits that will help you get there in the end.
Preparation - Have you ever heard to quote “Fail to plan, plan to fail?” Well, that is exactly what will happen if you don’t prepare. Especially when we are talking about changing habits. We only have a certain amount of will power - by the way the fitter you are the more you have - available to us daily so if you are still surrounded by the very things that derail you then it won’t be long until you ‘fall off the wagon’. Make time to clean out your pantry and replace with good things.
Break down your goal - I find this one particularly important. Looking at the end goal is completely overwhelming and breaking it down into bite size chunks works. Given I have had 22 years of experience watching the successes and failures I feel like I am qualified to comment, right! Look at it this way, when you first start dating you don’t go into the first date thinking about growing old together! Or when you move house you plan each step so when moving day comes (the end product) you are organised. So why do we do this with our fitness or weight loss goals? It doesn’t make sense.When I say break down goals I mean choose things that are achievable and will keep you on track. For example dropping my ice-cream fetish, do 10 full push ups, a chin up or running for 5 minutes continuously. Think outside the square. Once you hit some of these goals the natural by product is a stronger, fitter, leaner you. Perfect!
Instant gratification - You WANT this. Getting it is a little more tricky. Seeing results adds to motivation and this reiterates my point above. Setting the little goals along the way and ticking them off as you go keeps you on track and wanting that shot of dopamine each time you tick off a goal. It is addictive.
Expect to ‘fall off’ - We would love to be all perfect but that is not how life rolls. You need to expect that you will hit roadblocks and perhaps miss a training session or have some of your favorite ice cream. The important thing is not to dwell on it and move forward. Focus on the next meal being good or the next training session. If you expect perfection you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
Brag about it! - Celebrate your successes after all you have worked for them. Recruit someone who knows about your journey and has your back and when you succeed you can brag to them. Equally if you have a bad day you can tell them and they can pick you up. Social media these days is also a great platform to brag!
Engage a Personal Trainer - There is no better way to get results than working with a fitness coach, movement coach/specialist, personal trainer whatever the buzzword currently is, they will all get you results. Is it expensive? Depends on how much value you put on being healthy and strong. The other important thing to remember here is to check them out thoroughly. Are they registered with an industry body, can they produce qualifications, how much experience do they have and even if they are experienced what continuing education have they been doing? Think about the responsibility they have. It is your body and prescribing the wrong thing could set you back or even worse cause injury.
In closing, just remember it takes a good four weeks of trying to break a habit and another four to cement it. Hang in there, choose your reasons and then go for it!
Kirsty Robbie - CHEK exercise coach and managing director of StudioForty6 Personal Training