It’s a brand new year, which means you may be thinking about new year’s resolutions.
No matter what your health and fitness goal, set yourself up for success with the 6 steps below.
1. Use triggers + rituals
Habits don’t just happen. It’s through using triggers and rituals that you create a habit.
We are what we repeatedly do – Will Durant
Simple ‘triggers’ or rituals can help you show up every day and create sustainable, lifelong habits. For example, if you prefer to exercise in the morning, set your alarm and leave it under your workout clothes, away from your bed. This way you’ll be forced to physically get out of bed AND your activewear will be out and ready to go! If you prefer to exercise after work, place your yoga mat/running shoes etc. near the front door so it’s the first thing you see when you get home. Better yet, workout BEFORE you get home.
2. Respect your body
Going beyond your body’s limitations won’t bring faster results, it will only make the practice more difficult and painful (especially if you’re new to exercise).
A key part of setting and achieving health and fitness goals is listening to your body.
Check-in with your body each day and honour where you’re at. Most women find that their energy and strength fluctuates throughout their menstrual cycle. If you’re feeling less than stellar, you may need to reduce the intensity of exercise or even skip a workout. Listen to your body, work with your cycle and you’ll get to where you want to be in no time!
3. Don’t beat yourself up!
It’s okay if you miss a workout! There are going to be days when you can’t or don’t feel like exercising and that’s okay. Treat yourself with the kindness and compassion you deserve.
Even if you’re not up for an intense workout, perhaps there are other ways you can incorporate movement into your day – a gentle stroll around the block at lunch time, a few stretches in front of the TV or a few squats at the kitchen sink. The effects are cumulative and will show themselves to you in time – even small gestures can produce significant results and benefits.
Remember, missing a day here and there is no big deal. However, if a day becomes a week and then a month, reconsider how you can make your health and fitness goals a priority and what steps you can take to make this happen. Then, simply start again.
4. Build your support team
Studies show that if you share your goals, you are more likely to achieve them. Recruit your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours as cheerleaders to motivate you, support you and remind you why you set health goals for yourself in the first place. You’re not in this alone so use people around you to help you succeed.
A Personal Trainer or Life Coach can also form part of your support network. They will help get from where you are to where you want to be faster, providing support, accountability and encouragement every step of the way.
5. Choose to do the hard work
There is a time to take it easy and there is a time to dig deep and work hard. And if you want results, you have to be prepared to invest time, effort, energy and money. This may mean that you have to move your body when you don’t feel like it; try a more challenging yoga pose or exercise even when it scares you; or resist the elaborate story your mind tells you when you just want to give up.
I’m a big advocate of simple discipline. Simple discipline is nothing more than making and keeping simple promises to yourself and repeating daily. Because, when you repeat something every day, that what’s creates discipline and also creates habits. – Mel Robbins
Results don’t occur instantaneously but if you are committed and consistent, you will create the results you desire. Guaranteed.
6. Have fun!
Your health and fitness goals are meant to spark joy in your life so try to have a bit of fun! Smile when your legs hurt; laugh when you shake and wobble; forgive yourself if you miss a day; recruit an exercise buddy! If something is fun you’ll be more inclined to show up and do it every day!
If you’re struggling to find joy in exercise, take some time to explore different types of movements. This blog has loads of fun ideas to try!