How many times have you set the same old resolutions on 1st January to lose weight and get fit? And how many times have you started with epic enthusiasm, only to give up after a couple of months?
If that sounds like you, then luckily, you’re not alone with a YouGov study suggesting that losing weight and getting fit were the top two UK New Year resolutions in 2017 made by 48% and 41% of people respectively, but that 6 in 10 failed to stick to the resolutions they made.
If you really want to make some fitness resolutions that last this January, here are some pointers:
It’s no wonder that so many people don’t manage to achieve their New Year resolutions as often people are over enthusiastic, setting big goals which could take months achieve. It’s fine to set big goals, and have something to work towards, but don’t think that these results can be achieved overnight. Instead set mini, micro goals which when added together will mean you achieve your main objective. For example, if it’s your goal to run a 10k, don’t set out on a 10k route on day 1, aim to run smaller distances, increasing week by week until you reach your goal. When you hit these micro milestones, you’ll feel motivated and that sense of achievement will give you the vigour to continue working towards your main goal. You could also try downloading an app like Freeletics Run which will set out distances for you to conquer each week, helping you to smash your goal and achieve things you never thought possible.
A big reason that people give up on their resolutions is because they’re not seeing the results they want. They might be training a few times a week but not seeing the pounds drop off. Assuming that they are training in the right way, then this is usually because they haven’t adjusted their diet. Keep the ratio of 80/20 in mind, so 80% of weight loss will come from diet and 20% from exercise. Don’t kid yourself either about what you’re eating either, and if it’s helpful write down everything you eat in a day as this will help you to keep track of your diet and make better choices when it comes to food.
Whilst it’s brilliant to start including more exercise into your week, like going to the gym, or doing an extra Freeletics workout, also think about small changes that you can make to your lifestyle. Research now suggests that being inactive can be as bad for us as smoking or being obese, so if your job is primarily desk based, make a point of taking a lunchtime walk and getting up and moving every two hours.
Who doesn’t like to impress their friends and colleagues with tales of how many sessions they’ve put in that week? The reality is though that exercising every day might be manageable for a week or even a month, but there’s very, very little chance that you’ll be able to maintain it. Opt instead for something realistic, setting a goal of working out three times a week and spread your enthusiasm out over a longer period.
Understanding your ‘why’ is your most powerful motivator. Your ‘why’ could be your desire to improve your health so you can be a better role model to your kids and the people around you. Being able to identify your true ‘why’ will give you the drive and motivation to see it through. This can be tough, but once you dig deep and find your true emotional trigger this will become your ultimate driving force.
David Wiener is a Training and Nutrition Specialist at leading fitness app Freeletics