New Year, New You?
Have four words ever put more dread and self-loathing into you? ‘New Year, New You‘. Personally, I hate it. I get it and I get why we do it and I understand the whole attraction of a fresh start. Forgetting the sins of the last year, especially the heavy indulgent Christmas season and focusing on what you want to achieve in the coming year. I still hate it.
The issue I have is that it’s so negative focused.
New Year’s resolutions tend to highlight what you hate about yourself and your life. They don’t look at all the good stuff you might have achieved. It’s very negative centric and then because of this there is the tendency to over promise for the new year. At least that’s what I do and then I invariably end up breaking these resolutions and spend the first few months of the year beating myself up over it.
So, if you’ve already faltered in those resolutions or are just finding it tougher going than you first thought then don’t beat yourself up about it, the year is only just getting started. I have put together some advice that I have learnt whilst I was studying for my personal trainer qualification along with some tips that I have found helpful in the last few years.
Keep it simple, as a PT you get taught to be S.M.A.R.T. Which is, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant & Time-based. I’ll go over these in more detail but it is worth mentioning now that you really should only have one clear set goal, two at the very maximum. Reason being, have just one goal and you have a really good chance of achieving it. Two, less so but it’s still possible. More than two, no chance. Keep it simple.
Your goal needs to be just that. Not, ‘I want to lose weight’ or ‘I want to become ripped’. It needs to be more clearly defined than that. So, with those two examples I just gave, these would become; ‘I want to lose 7kg in 3 months’ or ‘I want to gain 5kg of lean muscle by July’. It needs to be specific.
As with the examples, the goal needs to be measureable and not some plucked out of the air on a whim. What is ripped and how can you measure that? You can’t. So it needs to be measurable. A gain in 5 Kg of lean muscle mass by July is measurable. You can review it and if needed amend your training & nutrition accordingly so that when July has arrived you have gained the desired amount of muscle.
Be realistic. I’m not going to look like a fitness model by the end of the year, so why set it as a goal. Likewise, if your morbidly obese you’re not going to be a size 6 come December. Instagram kills us with the daily barrage of gorgeous fit people that have spent years to get those figures. It isn’t going to happen in a year, let alone in a few months. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you could never have that but it takes years of dedication and strict nutrition to get those results. In 12 months you can still make some real progress and get some great results.
Make it relevant to you. Set a goal that is important to where you are in your life right now. Don’t set a goal based on something your friends or family are doing. Set something that you want, something that you’ll have passion and determination for.
As I’ve used in the examples, have a deadline. Have a set time for when the goal needs to be achieved by. This will be your motivation, it also assists in you measuring your progress and making adjustments if you need to. Once you’ve hit your deadline, evaluate how you did and then, if you want, set yourself another SMART goal to go for.
Additional tips for your new year, new you goals.
Set yourself mini goals to hit during your larger goal. When you hit those, treat yourself. Could be a cheat meal, a piece of new training kit or a night away. Whatever you enjoy, use it to motivate you to hit that goal.
Don’t give up
You’re going hit some tough times, you’ll miss some sessions, life will get in the way. Expect this to happen and when it does, dust yourself off and crack on. Don’t let it derail or demotivate you from the end target.
Make it fun!
Get a workout buddy or friend to train with you now and again. If running is part of your goal then join a local running club. Having a training partner, at least for some of your training sessions then you are more likely to stay on track. A bit of healthy competition, banter and support does a world of good. Failing that, regularly create new playlists to work out too or take progress pics and document yourself. Anything that will keep it interesting and entertaining.
Finally, stick with it & don’t give up. As I always used to get told as a kid, get your head down and get on with it!
Having trouble keeping with the New Year, New You? Feel free to email, message or tweet if you find yourself needing more motivation and support. I’m always here to help.