If you’re thinking more about your fitness these days or lack thereof, then you’re not alone. It’s that time of year again when people realise they are a bit pudgier than they ought to be and decide to slim down.
Come the first of January, enthusiastic resolution-ers start hoarding gyms. But by the start of February, most of them are back home staring at the mirror with some kind of regret and disappointment. Why is it that good intentions of getting fit, losing weight and improving one’s lifestyle seem so elusive? It’s simple really. Dieting and going to the gym are doomed to fail of you’ve not done anything to sustain your motivation or handle the inevitable stress and discomfort that comes with change. In other words, don’t expect your fitness goals to materialize unless you change your mind first. Essentially, it boils down to self-discipline. You’re not born with self-discipline – You Acquire It! You need to develop your self-discipline one challenge at a time. Don’t try to escape the anxiety that comes with change, instead endure it and embrace it. Bottom Line: Don’t Bail!
Most New Year resolution-ers love to make grand, sweeping declarations like:
- I’m going to lose 10kgs! … but he hasn’t even tried losing 1kg the past year
- I’m going to the gym every day and workout at least 90 minutes! … but he hasn’t even tried exercising 30 minutes a day
- I’m going to start eating healthy! …but all he eats are junk, oily and sugary treats
Yes, setting ambitious goals are admirable but ultimately goals like these are setting you up to fail. Things may go great for a few days or weeks but life eventually gets in the way and you’ll lose ground.
Set goals that are simple and small so that you can complete them easily and consistently.
- Want to lose 10kgs? Start by setting a goal to lose 1kgs in a month. That’s Easy!
- Want to Exercise for 90 minutes a day? Join a gym and start by working out 45 minutes a day for at least 3 times a week instead of going all out with 6-7 days a week
- Want to start eating healthy? Start by cooking healthy food at home and cutting down on oily and sugary treats instead of taking them out of your life completely.
Find the middle ground
Most people who are just starting out on their fitness journey try to go from 0 to 100, so to speak, almost overnight. Scrape this “All or Nothing” mentality. If you’re not exercising currently, it’s not realistic to expect yourself to commit to exercising 1-2 hours every day. More often than not, people who set this “all or nothing” goals are not able to stick to their unrealistic expectations and end up bombing out and doing nothing at all.
Be honest with yourself
Honestly acknowledge where you are currently in terms of your health and fitness level. Although, a New Year resolution-er wants to make a positive change in their life, every so often they set goals without being realistic about where they are starting from. Even though your current fitness level is not where you want it to be, being honest with yourself about where you are currently and using that as a baseline from which to work and build yourself up will help you set realistic and attainable goals.
Find the fun
Most people can easily get discouraged and give up when they emphasize too much on the weight loss. Instead, focus on the joys of working out and exercising. Think about the feeling you get after exercising. The boost in energy and the fact that your body is getting stronger every day. Don’t think of exercising as something you have to do. Instead, think of it as something you want to do. The key is to change your mentality.
Tips for the New Year
- Be S.M.A.R.T when setting goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely
- Be CONSISTENT. Consistency is Key!
- Be honest with where you are in terms of your current level of fitness and health and use that as a baseline to set goals
- Find the fun in exercising.
- Change your mentality. And most importantly DON’T GIVE UP!