As I sit here relaxing in my PJs, on what is my last night off (following a 2 week break from jumping, leaping and squatting my way through my normal working week), I thought I’d better post something before the January fitness mayhem begins.
Generally speaking, people tend to start their diet or new fitness regimes on a Monday. And what with tomorrow being the first Monday in January, I can imagine it’s going to be a busy one. However, I sit here wondering – how long will it last? As a fitness instructor, January is your busiest time of the year. A new year, a new start, new goals, a new you. However, by March it has levelled back out and the mayhem is somewhat more calm. With this in my mind, before you go all guns blazing into a healthy eating and exercise regime, I thought I would give some advice to help reduce the possibility of you giving up because you can’t maintain what you’ve set out to do.
Start with stepping stones – your main goal may be to ‘lose weight and tone up’, however, in my opinion that is too vague and therefore easy to lose sight of. It needs to be broken down into smaller targets, which then become easier to accomplish. You will reach your mini targets more quickly and be proud of your achievements and encouraged to continue towards your main goal. Try and give yourself a deadline for the mini targets, so you get to the finish line for each target. For example, by the end of January I will have made sure the cupboards are clear of all temptations and the Christmas treats have been cleared/eaten or given away. I will also commit to exercising once a week. Both of these goals are achievable and have an end date, which means you are more likely to stick to them. It is then important to set additional goals once the first set are reached. This will keep you moving forward and challenging yourself to the next stages – For February, I will only have a treat at the weekend and will exercise twice a week.
Rewards – if you can make eating better and / or exercising a habit, you are more likely to stick at it longer. Take brushing your teeth for example, you do that every day (hopefully twice a day) and don’t even think about it. If you can make a small change (drinking a glass of water before lunch or walking up the stairs at work everyday) and repeat it for a week, it will soon become a habit. As you reach each goal or mini target, it is important to reward yourself (preferably with something non food related). Maybe treat yourself to that top you wanted or even relax with a pedicure. Enjoying these rewards will also encourage you to continue with the ‘good‘ habits and reach all of your intended mini targets and eventually your main goal.
I really can’t stress the importance of goal setting enough – so why not try it yourself? Set a main goal with mini targets to break it up along the way. Feel free to share your goals below…