Thursday, 26 January 2017

Resolution Revival


Less than a month ago, many of us set new year's resolutions. We promised ourselves that we'd get into shape, reconnect with old friends, make more effort in our relationships, or maybe quit smoking.

How's that working out for you?


I genuinely hope you're smashing it. I hope the stern words you had with yourself over the holiday period hit home and gave you the motivation and energy to action positive changes in your life. If that's the case and you're fully on top of things, pat yourself on the back and return to your new and improved life. If not, stick with me.

If you're like most of us, you've somewhat slipped off the back of the wagon and have to some degree returned to your old ways. Today I'd like to throw a few ideas out there to see if we can put you back on track and get things moving again. Let's break it down into 4 steps.

1) DON'T PANIC

Just because you've not 100% stuck to your chocolate abstinence, or whatever it is, doesn't mean all is lost. Every second of every day provides an opportunity to make a positive decision. Forget what you've done and focus on what you can do next. Getting into the right frame of mind is essential in achieving anything.

2) REVISE GOALS

Have a think about what you promised yourself on January 1st. Better yet, if you wrote your resolution/s down, reread them with a critical eye. Were your targets reasonable or did you set yourself up for failure right from the get-go? Were your resolutions time sensitive in that there was a particular date you needed to achieve something by? Were they specific enough to know if you'd even reached your goals?

A rubbish resolution might be something like:

'In 2017 I want to lose weight.'

A better way of framing this would be:

'By March 1st 2017 I'm going to lose the 4kg I put on during the second part of last year. I'll fit back into the dress I wore to (insert friend's name) party and feel comfortable and confident in it. I'll take a photo of myself in the dress on 1st March and wear it out for dinner. I'll work towards this by following my Personal Trainer's nutrition guidance and by attending exercise classes at my gym each week with (insert super supportive best friend's name).'

See the difference? The second statement is positive throughout. It specifies a date to complete the task by. It refers to past experiences and allows you to visualise future success and touches on how this is going to be achieved.

Revise your goals and write them down. Write them by hand in BIG, BOLD, CAPITAL LETTERS. Use a red pen. Pin a relevant picture to the piece of paper and stick it to a mirror so you have to look yourself in the eye every time you read it.

3) ASK WHY

We can go one step further with goal setting by repeatedly an systematically asking ourselves the same question over and over.

That question is 'why?'.

Realising a goal is dependent on our understanding of the reasons behind deciding to work towards it in the first place. This is something I'll often focus on in a Personal Training Consultation scenario. Someone will come to me with a certain set of goals but often with no real thought behind why they really want to achieve them. The process of asking 'why' can really help in this situation. For example, why do you really want to start that hobby, lose that weight or climb that mountain? Be brutally honest with yourself and use your answers to motivate you.

4) SEEK HELP

You may have tried and failed with this year's resolution multiple times in the past. Perhaps try to figure out the barriers you've faced and be more proactive in setting yourself up to take control of the situation. I outline the main barriers to progression in my blog post Why am I not Improving?

Once you've pinpointed the reasons why you're struggling, consider seeking relevant help. If your resolution is health and fitness related then look to professionals in the field. If it's more of a social thing then talk to a friend and get their support and guidance. Whatever the goal, there'll be someone out there who can help move you closer to it.

It the time of writing this post it's 2:33pm on 26th January 2017. Don't write your dreams for the year off just let. Go and grab your goals with both hands and don't let go.

Feel free to share your experiences and how you're taking action in the comments below.


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