Every year I hear people making 2 common New Year’s resolutions:
1. Get fitter
2. Lose weight
It’s a very universal resolution so how do you stick to it? Here are my tips.
Make goals not resolutions
Trackable goals with specific deadlines and actions are better than more general resolutions. Resolving to ‘be healthier’ can leave you in a limbo, never knowing if you’ve achieved what you set out to do or what you intend to do to achieve it. Instead, if you resolve to work out 3 times a week, it is an actionable, trackable goal.
Make exercise (or even just movement) a habit
Integrate movement into your day, however small – whether it’s 5 minutes of stretching, taking stairs instead of lifts or a 20min run around the block – do it until it becomes second nature. Be consistent but equally important, understand that if you miss a day, all is not lost. Just pick up again the next day.
Download an app
An app can offer genuine help to stay motivated. Whether it’s a calorie counting app, a personal trainer app or an activity tracker, they can give you structure, help you track what you’ve done and set challenges. A few good examples are Strava, Fitbit and Nike+ but there are many more that can be tailored to the activities of your choice.
Keep a food diary
While it’s not a good idea to obsess over calories, it is useful to keep track of what you’re consuming to understand where unexpected or excessive calories come from.
Finding out you can eat a massive bowl of chicken salad, three boiled eggs and some Parma ham for the same as one piece of chocolate cake, helps you make better choices. It’s all about balancing your choices rather than cutting everything out.
Cut back on alcohol
I know it’s boring as champagne is hard to beat, steak tastes better with a bottle of red or a beer after a hard day is a must, but think about this:
Drinking alcohol temporarily stops your body from burning fat, because it must stop what it’s doing to process the alcohol – leaving the food you just ate to be stored as fat and less nutrients being absorbed. Cutting out alcohol altogether is difficult so why not set yourself a goal of no drinking on a week day.
Get a personal trainer
Having someone motivating you while you work out is guaranteed to result in more reps than if you go it alone. The money spent doesn’t just buy the session – it means having someone turn up to meet you whatever the time, smiling, telling you that you’ve got this and that they believe in you.
If you can’t afford your own, consider looking for likeminded friends and share one between a small group. A few of my clients have taken this option and it works well.
Can’t leave the house to workout? I offer at-home personal training – all you need is a small space indoors or in the garden.
The main point from all the above is to do something that you enjoy and you’re more likely to stick to your goals.