By Ian Copp, Personal Trainer
As we turn our backs on the indulgence of the festive period, it’s tempting to go BIG on our plans and goals for January.
Ditching the alcohol, sugar and carbs in favour of healthier alternatives is tempting at the start of the year, but here’s the thing. High motivation will only get you so far, it’s fleeting and will most likely wear off by mid-January, and so the cycle continues.
This year, why not try things a different way – less ‘cold turkey’ and opt instead for a more strategic, informed, planned approach and see how changing small things can make a big difference.
1 Don’t limit yourself to January
The body you want to achieve will not happen in the 31 days of January. You can have a goal for January but make it realistic, and then extend your planning beyond the month. Why not make a plan for the first 6 months of the year – write it down, plan your goals in detail and make yourself accountable
by pinning it somewhere you will see it often.
2 Set yourself achievable goals
What do you want to achieve? Is it weight loss, increased strength, running a marathon or improving your swimming skills?! Try to focus on one thing and break down the components involved. If weight loss is your aim, think about setting weekly targets, planning your meals and scheduling movement into your diary. Prioritise and diarise to keep these habits front of mind.
3 Measure your progress
How do you know how far you have come if you didn’t measure where you started? If you’re hoping for a body-transformation you could take measurements, track weight or even document in photos but track honestly and regularly. And celebrate your wins!
Why not make a plan for the first 6 months of the year – write it down, plan your goals in detail and make yourself accountable by pinning it somewhere you will see it often.
4 Keep the commitment!
Set yourself up for success by keeping your goals achievable. Nothing will knock your confidence more than feeling like you’re failing. By putting realistic expectations on yourself you immediately make success more achievable. 10 minutes of exercise daily is often more realistic than 1 hour Monday-Friday and over time, its consistency that will pay off.
5 Vary your training
If your goals are around fitness, weight loss or body transformations I urge you to vary your movement patterns and challenge yourself in new ways. As a Personal Trainer I often find people get stuck doing the same as they have always done and they wonder why nothing is changing! Vary your training and try your hand at new sports or activities – even better, invest in a PT who will push you out of your comfort zone and help you to create real, meaningful and long lasting changes!
Ian Copp is a personal trainer. He runs a business called The Personal Training Way. www.theptway.co.uk