Did you make some health goals this New Year? Maybe you want to start the new year with an exercise routine, or break a bad habit, eat better, get to sleep before 10pm every night or lose weight? They are all great goals, yet so many of us don’t stick to our New Year resolutions.
Why is this?
Well, simply rushing into the new year after the excesses of Christmas and making drastic overnight changes to your diet and lifestyle, which you ‘intend’ to keep to all year, just won’t work. In reality, most people give up before the end of the month.
No matter what your goals are for this new year, the most important thing is that you have a clear and realistic view of what you want to achieve and why.
I always recommend starting small and taking baby steps rather than one giant leap. It’s what you do every day that counts. Start with one thing and build on that. If all you do is increase your water intake, do 10,000 steps every day or increase your fruit and veg consumption, that is perfect!
In this article I’ll guide you through tips and processes to help you stick to your New Year resolutions.
You may start out motivated, but there will be times when you want to give up. So how are you going to keep going?
Goals require dedication and the ongoing desire to succeed. It’s important to have a clear goal and a reason for achieving it. Your ‘why’.
Finding your ‘why’
A lot of resolutions fail because there’s no ‘why’ attached to the ‘what’.
Finding the ‘what’ of resolutions and goals is easy. You ‘want’ to lose weight, save money, exercise or travel more.
But the ‘why’ is just as, if not more, important. Let’s use the weight loss example, since it’s probably a goal that we’ve all encountered in our lives.
Why do you want to lose weight? Maybe it’s to feel more confident, or more accepted? Perhaps it will give you more energy for playing with your kids or help prevent chronic illness.
It’s extremely important to define your ‘why’ when you decide on your ‘what’ because that’s what will drive you and motivate you to keep going!
Write your ‘why’ and put it somewhere you will see it every day, maybe on your home screen on your phone. Then start on the goals, what do you want to achieve and by when?
Put them in your planner or calendar. Then think about how will you achieve and measure them.
Having these tools in place will help with motivation. The easier it is to recall your ‘why’ and your goal when it seems like all you want to do is give up, the easier it will be to get yourself back on track.
Slow and steady wins the race!
With setting goals and resolutions, it’s easy to daydream and get lost in the big-picture. So you have your big goal that you’re working toward, now you need a way to get there.
Creating micro goals on your way up will help you do that. Micro goals are like stepping stones and require less effort and are therefore more achievable and sustainable.
For example, your end goal might be to run a marathon or lose a significant amount of weight. You will not reach either of those goals overnight, it may take some time. So set micro goals along the way, running a mile, or losing 1lb of weight. Then one mile becomes two, and the weight continues to reduce.
When you get in the habit of checking off these easier tasks and seeing the results, it will help build your confidence and create a snowball effect as you get closer to your end goal. You can even set yourself rewards when you reach certain milestones – just make them healthy ones!
No matter what the goal, as soon as you implement your steps to achieve it, you risk becoming bored.
You aim to eat healthier food but end up eating the same foods for every meal or doing the same exercises every time you work out, taking the same running route whenever you run… you can see how it gets monotonous!
There are many ways to get creative about how you achieve your goals and knowing that there is not just one rigid way to get there is actually quite refreshing. There are countless healthy versions and recipes for our favourite foods, and fresh places to run or workout.
Having someone to hold you accountable is proven to help you achieve your goals, and it means you don’t have to go it alone! Find an exercise buddy, or someone who has a similar goal and arrange to check in with each other. Or if you are doing a detox or a cleanse, find a coach or a group to do it with.
Be open to change
In reality, life can get in the way and you could get knocked off track. You have your week planned out and work or family life gets in the way and complicates things – suddenly you cannot do your morning workout, or you get invited to a works dinner you cannot get out of. Therefore, you need to have some flexibility and freedom within the parameters of your goal in order to accomplish it.
For instance, take an hour walk with a friend instead of two of your normal 30 mins of exercise. If you work out in the mornings but on a couple of days you cannot, then work out at lunchtime. Choose carefully at the works dinner and get back to your healthy eating the next day. Some flexibility means you get the same results.
Find Compassion for Yourself
Research shows that people who practice self-compassion are more likely to get back to their goals after failure. So go easy on yourself. Adding a new habit or routine to your life takes a lot of energy. To be successful in reaching your goals, you’ll have to incorporate some extra self-love and compassion into your day. With our busy lives, it’s easy to let go of our needs, so be careful that your goals don’t take second place.
If it all feels as if it’s getting too much and you are getting overwhelmed, then take some time to pause and check-in with yourself. What part of your new habit or routine is most difficult, anxiety-provoking, or uncomfortable for you? What can you do to take a step back and make the experience more comfortable, and therefore sustainable?
Do not compare
Awareness is critical to achieving health-related goals because every one of us is so different. From body-type to motivations, to previous illnesses, successes, or failures. Cultivating body awareness is something I feel strongly about.
It’s crucial to understand that your weight loss, exercise, or fitness plan must be tailored to you and your lifestyle. There is no point comparing it to anyone else’s, or blindly following online advice without personalising it to suit your needs. What works for one person may not work for you.
‘People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.’Dale Carnegie
The most important thing is to enjoy every step, not just endure it. Ultimately, no matter what New Year’s Goal you’re looking to achieve this year, I want you to enjoy every single moment of meeting that goal. When it becomes a chore, when you feel down, negative or disillusioned that’s when you know something needs to change. It could be your attitude, your actions, or your reasoning and motivation for striving for it.
When this happens, return to your ‘why’, if it does not motivate you then make it bigger.
I am launching my 21 day winter cleanse on 10th January. I am offering this simple cleanse program to help you revolutionise the way you think about food, and reshape your body from the inside out.
This program isn’t about starving your body, fasting, juicing, or eating strange food combinations. it’s about learning how to use delicious foods as fuel for your body. Early bird offer if you join before 9th January. DM me if you have any questions.
I hope this article will help you stick to your New Year resolutions. Remember to set realistic goals and start small.
If you need any help to get started or have any questions, please do get in touch.
Wishing you all a very healthy and happy 2022!