WHY YOU Shouldn’t SET
HEALTH & FITNESS Resolutions
Words by Hannah Walker
Resolutions are more often than not fitness related. The classic – exercise more and eat less! Both of these tend to get done in extremes of what is normal to the individual and the recipe is guaranteed to fail because you won’t be consuming enough calories to sustain your new full throttle fitness regime. But why do we conform to this society tradition? Maybe we don’t need to set New Year resolutions, setting ourselves up to fail with one big
goal, maybe we need to set ourselves monthly goals and break them down to make them more manageable.
January – eat more vegetables.
February – exercise twice a week as a minimum.
March – eat more protein.
You get the idea.
Then you can layer up 12 changes throughout the year making each one achievable and mostimportantly sustainable. You will eliminate the guilt of not sticking to your new regime and also eliminate the self-sabotage when you struggle to stick to it for one week. Take the pressure off yourself. Break down what you would like to achieve throughout the year into monthly mini goals and make them achievable.
It isn’t always that easy when you are working full time, racing around after kids and trying to keep on top of a health and fitness routine. To make it work and to make it work long term, it needs a bit of planning and it needs you not to be too hard on yourself. It also needs you to enjoy it. Whether you enjoy the actual workout if increasing your workouts is a goal, or you enjoy the endorphins after or the boost to your mental health, make that your driver.
Focus on the things you enjoy when you are having one of those slightly tired days, when you know you need a reason to get yourself out there.
Mine is always knowing how good I will feel when I have done the workout. I always tell myself when I am tired that it doesn’t matter if the workout is the worst one I have ever done, if it is laboured, if I am out of breath and out of energy, I will be putting my muscles under load and working my cardiovascular system and that will all count to making progress.
Throughout the year you can work on making a new habit each month, be that eating more vegetables or exercising twice a week as a minimum, that is four weeks, roughly 31 days you have to add in that new ‘thing’, make it stick and make it part of your lifestyle. By the end of 2019 you will have made 12 improvements to your life that you will have made stick, and they will become habitual. Some months you don’t always have to introduce something new. Some months you can look at changing a bad habit you currently have.
Maybe every day you make a cup of tea, and that cup of tea might be a contextual cue which means you always have a biscuit with it. You might not even realise that you have eaten that biscuit most days because it subconsciously gets consumed with the cup of tea. Some months you can address changing habits that you know are holding you back or delaying you from reaching your goal. I am not saying don’t have a biscuit with your tea, it is just an example of how we can consume unnecessary calories without realising, especially if you are on a fat loss journey and are adhering to a calorie deficit.
The most important thing is to make any goals you set for yourself realistic. They have to be able to work with your lifestyle. They are your goals and no one else’ so they just need to work for you. You also don’t need to know what you want to introduce and achieve each month for the rest of the year. They can evolve and grow as you go through the year, working out what you want to achieve a month at a time. Take the pressure off and enjoy the challenge each month to a stronger, healthier, happier you. There is still time to take control of 2019 one month at a time.