Chances are, by the time you have started reading this blog article, your New Year’s health and fitness resolutions have already hit the buffers. If you want to know why we all fail so early with our best intentions and what we can do to increase our chances of success, then read on:
- You set unrealistic goals – Telling yourself that you are going to ‘lose a stone in weight’ before the spring’ sounds great but what you probably haven’t taken into account is the dedication and sacrifice that such a goal requires. As your progress starts to stall, then this goal gets parked up for another year.To overcome this issue, you should set Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Based (SMART) goals. A smarter version of the above goal would be to ‘lose 1-2lbs of weight a week over the next 12 weeks. This goal is Specific (1-2lbs of weight), Achievable (inline with healthy weight loss guidelines), Realistic (weight loss of 1-2lbs a week is a sensible rate of weight loss) and Time Based (12 weeks).
- You don’t have a plan – Just saying that we are going to ‘lose some weight’ or ‘get fitter in 2018’ without a plan will result in inaction and ultimately failure. Write out your week either on a paper calendar or set up an online Google Calendar that you can access from your phone. Block out existing commitments such as work, commuting time etc and identify the gaps where you could either prepare healthier meals and/or do some exercise.If you are looking to eat healthier, then one approach is to place an online Supermarket delivery of healthier food choices for the whole week ahead and don’t buy in any junk. If it’s exercise that you are looking at committing to, then identify the gaps where exercise can be incorporated into everyday life, such as getting off the tube or bus one stop early and walking the rest of the journey or exercising in a local park at lunchtime
Block exercise time out in your diary and treat it the same as any other diarised event in your week.
- You don’t believe in yourself – Stop comparing yourself to your ‘leaner’ or ‘fitter’ friends and family members. The only person you need to compare yourself with is yesterday’s version of yourself. As long as each day you are making better food and activity choices than the day before, then you are heading in the right direction to achieving your goals.
- You have no one to be accountable to – When you receive knockbacks along the way, then ensure that you have recruited someone to be accountable to. Recruit friends and/or family for support and motivation or join online forums for a wider support network that are accessible 24/7 for you to share your challenges with.
- You don’t enjoy the change – Choosing a diet plan or exercise regime that you simply don’t enjoy will most likely result in failure. You are far better off making diet and exercise choices that you are more likely to stick with. If you cannot see yourself incorporating your chosen diet or exercise plan into your everyday life for the months and years to come, then chances are you will fail after a few weeks and revert to old unhealthier habits.
- You don’t take into account the bumps in the road – Your commitment to a healthier way of life will be littered with potential obstacles. Right at the start you should write down all of the reasons why historically you have failed with implementing change, as well as what challenges you can forecast in the future may derail your efforts. If you write down the likely obstacles in advance then you will be better prepared to deal with them when they appear.
- You delay your start – There is little point in saying ‘I will start after the kids go back to school’ or after some other significant event. The only day to start is today, as you are more likely to be able to control what is in front of you right now. When tomorrow arrives is will present a completely different set of challenges; deal with tomorrow, tomorrow.Now that you know why you are likely to fail and what you can do to mitigate the likelihood of failure, start right now, with setting yourself some goals, write a plan and have the belief in yourself that you can achieve whatever you want to achieve.Happy New Year!