Skip to main content

How to set resolutions you can stick to this New Year


It's that time of year when people start to think about how they want their future to look.


Do you have any New Year resolutions?


Setting yourself new goals and aspirations is a great way to start making positive changes in your life.

But are you falling into the trap?

THE TRAP!


A lot of people start out their year with sincere and heartfelt goals, but struggle to keep up with them.

Then they stop working at it, don't reach the goal and feel bad. They couldn't do The Thing. They will never reach The Goal. They feel like they have failed.

This year, you will not fall into The Trap, because I'm here to help.

Your 3 step guide to great resolutions

1. Set an achievable goal


Be realistic. Is is something that is physically possible? Will it require changes or resources that you are ready, willing and able to action?

Let's have a look at some examples. Let's say your goal is to run a marathon, in 4 weeks time. Let's be honest, unless you are already a long distance runner, you are setting yourself up for failure. But maybe you could go for next year's race?

Or you are trying to lose weight. Say 10 kg. Can your body afford to lose 10kg (aka, do you have 10kg of fat spare, or are you going to have to start removing appendages)? Can you give yourself enough time (no more than 1% of your bodyweight a week, so 0.5-1kg for most people). Do you understand the changes you will have to make? Are you able to make them? Do you want to?


2. Break it down


Picture your goal one year from now. What do you need to do to get there? What do you need to be able to achieve that?

How will you know if you are on track? What can you measure to check your progress?

What action do you need to take every day in order to bring yourself closer to your target?

Let's try some examples. Say you want to become a bus driver. To do that you need to have the appropriate license, you need to take lessons to learn to drive a bus. Before you can do that you need to have a car license. How long would each of these things take? How much would it cost?

You want to lose 20kg in 6 months. That means you want to be losing 3-4 kg a month. About 0.8 kg a week. To do that you will need to be in a caloric deficit of about 4-500 calories a day. To do that you could add a lunchtime walk or evening fitness class to your schedule, and switch your sugar/carb heavy breakfast for something with more protein, so you won't want to snack mid morning. Now we have a daily plan....


3. Be accountable


Find a way to check in with your daily action, every day. Use a phone reminder, a star chart on your fridge. Have a person you can check in with, like a friend or a coach.

Check off your action every day. If you do it, you are winning that day. If you don't, it's just one day of a whole year, you can try again tomorrow.

So take our weight loss example again (because weight loss is what people ask me about most...). You could have a chart with 2 tick boxes, one for the extra exercise, and one for remembering to have protein with breakfast. Every day you tick them off if you remember them. Every tick is a win. Even if you miss some days your chart fills up with ticks. That makes you feel good.

You can't fail if you keep working at it. Every day is a fresh chance to get it right again.

Motivation doesn't come from a final, epic goal of great magnitude. In the moment, day by day, the idea of fitting into an ancient pair of jeans just isn't enough to keep you going. Those small wins are going to be what keeps you in the game. Keep at it until it becomes a habit, then it becomes easy.

Every couple of weeks check your progress. Are you getting closer? Is your plan working? Or does it need tweaking? Be a scientist, be fascinated with the process.

It's OK to change the plans up if it's not working. That's having a growth mindset. Be curious, keep trying, aim for consistency, but be prepared to try new ideas.

Looking for more ideas? Click here and sign up to my 7 day reset.

https://mailchi.mp/a5938a7f06ff/reset

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What's the deal with yoga and hypermobility?

I wanted to address a question today that keeps coming up on various hypermobility and EDS forums that I frequent. It comes up so often in fact that I feel like I have to write this all up in one place, to save me 1000s of key strokes of individual responses and distil some of my opinions and thought processes on the matter.

It always goes like this. Someone asks a question like "I've just been diagnosed with hypermobility, I've been told I can't do yoga anymore..."

The responses are always a mixture of "yes, my doctor/physio told me yoga was the worst thing I could do for my hypermobility" and "I do yoga and it's been the best thing for my hypermobility".

So what gives?

Well, I'm firmly in the "yoga is useful" camp, and I have to disclose that. I'm a yoga practitioner of around 20 years and a perinatal yoga teacher, as well as a personal trainer and bendy person.

While I have the deepest respect for the medical professio…

Training with Fibromyalgia - a primer for Fitness Professionals

Fitness and Fibromyalgia
The second of my posts about training clients with chronic illness (the first on EDS is here)

Learning how to achieve fitness in a chronically ill body was first my way of life, and later, my profession; as I train or programme for a number of Personal Training clients. I have EDS and Fibromyalgia (which commonly presents alongside EDS).

While the physiology and mechanisms behind EDS are relatively well understood, at least in terms of recognising the roles collagen plays in our bodies and the effects of an anomaly, fibromyalgia is a bit of a tricky one. The diagnosis, causes and management of fibromyalgia are not very well understood, and while progress is being made in terms of recognising physiological markers etc, we are still very much in the dark.

One thing that is generally agreed on however, is that exercise is good therapy for fibromyalgia, and that's where we come in.


Scope of practice
Here we go again...

Fitness professionals are there to help …

How staring at your phone could be causing your weak ankles.

Our bodies are incredible.
They are mad feats of improbable engineering with bone, muscle and connective tissue working in balance to move smoothly and with accuracy.

We have pretty much the same bones as a llama, a bat or a seal. Variations the lengths, tension and kinematics mean that we move and function completely differently. That's awesome.

I've been fascinated by movement since I was a teenager. I remember being a precocious 17 year old at my university interview. I had taken a trip out to the Equine Sports Medicine Centre to look at the high speed treadmill. It's an amazing (and very expensive) bit of tech that allows a horse to gallop while being relatively stationary, so accessible for all kinds of diagnostics. My interviewer asked what I thought of it. I said it was pretty impressive but I wasn't sold on how the horse moved on it. They still offered me a place. I still don't like to assess movement on a treadmill, you don't see natural locomotion.

A…

Managing Fibromyalgia flares

I've written before about living with EDS and Fibromyalgia,  much of my personal fitness and health practices are geared around managing those conditions and keeping me as well as I can be.

When managing a chronic health condition, particularly one that involves fatigue and potential flare ups, pacing, good nutrition, good sleep and generally taking care of yourself is always the first priority. Ideally we want to have as few flares as possible. But sometimes they still happen, and when they do, it's good to have a strategy in place.

And I'm going to be talking in fairly general terms, because while EDS and Fibro are my personal experience, there is so little understanding of the mechanisms behind these conditions, that most strategies are going to be applicable to a number of conditions where crashes of exhaustion and pain are a feature.


So what is a flare?
A flare is a period where someone with chronic illness suffers increased symptoms for a short while. The symptoms can…

But how can you be an athlete when you are sick?

Training through chronic illness - living life on the edge.
I'm living a double life.

My superhero persona goes to the gym and lifts enormous weights. She's vital and has her life together. Endless to-do lists in a bullet journal, juggling work and kids and being an athlete and performer with theatrical effortlessness.

Then there's the secret side people don't see, where I lie on the sofa in my flare day leggings and fleece, clutching a cup of tea for the slight relief the warmth affords my stiff, clawed hands.

I know I'm not the only one. I know a lot of athletes living with chronic illness. Outwardly fitter and busier than the average person, inwardly wracked with pain and fatigue.

There are two ways people tend to interpret this. Either we are not as sick as we claim, or we are stupidly putting our health at risk doing sport that seems counter-intuitive to our well being. The reality is a lot more complicated. I wanted to formulate a decent answer to "why …