The new year is often a time for change, it is a time for optimism and hope and a time to plan for the year ahead. As an Exercise Physiologist my job is to keep my clients and associates on track all year round – to keep them focussed and continually moving towards greater health, be it physical, physiological or psychological.
That isn’t to say, though, that there isn’t tremendous merit in new year’s health resolutions. I have helped hundreds of clients over the years with their resolutions and below I will outline a few tips on how you can stay on track with yours.
1. Make 1 resolution. Your chance of success is reduced when you attempt to change too many aspects of your health and fitness.
2. If you aren’t sure of your goal, and rushed to conceptualise your goal on new year’s eve, take some time and make sure that the goal that you have is emotionally important to you. Don’t pressure yourself to start on new year’s day if you aren’t 100% certain that the goal is important to you.
3. Avoid previous resolutions. If you attempted to quit smoking – the most popular health resolution – in previous years, you might want to consider making your current resolution more focussed around your overall health.
4. Don’t fall into the trap of following your friends and family members into their resolutions. This ties in with point 2, your goal must be important to you!
5. Break your goal into a series of steps, creating smaller goals as you go and which are specific, measureable and time-based. If your goal is weight loss, try not to focus on the end point, but smaller steps along the way.
6. Tell your friends and family about your goals. Evidence indicates that the larger the circle of social support the more likely you will be to achieve your goal.
7. Make checklist of the reasons why the goal is important to you. Refer back to your list periodically and especially at times when you feel that your focus is wavering.
8. Give yourself a small reward when you pass little milestones. This will help you to stay motivated and give you a sense of progress.
9. Make your plans concrete by keeping a journal or diarising your progress. This will help you to troubleshoot problems and obstacles before they become insurmountable.
10. Treat any setback as temporary and expect setbacks to occur. Do not beat yourself up if you stumble – it isn’t how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up!
Best of luck with your resolution, whatever it may be. By following the above 10 points you will certainly give yourself the best chance of being a healthier person in 2018!
Yours in health.