Words by JON CLARKE
It’s now 2018 and those promises you set yourself need to be fulfilled. Whether they’re carried over from previous years, or entirely new goals, achieving your resolutions need some serious thought and planning.
A popular resolution for many people is to get fitter and finally discover that beach body that’s been hiding underneath a layer or two of fat. Doing so can be difficult, what with the temptations of leftover cake and chocolate from Christmas, but don’t worry. Below are our 5 key tips on staying committed to your fitness goals for the year ahead...
1. Write your goals down
It sounds a little strange, but by writing your fitness goals down, you’re reaffirming an intent to achieve them. Without going to deep into the psychology of it, Tony Robbins (the famous motivational speaker) is a big advocator of writing things down.
You can approach this in a number of ways: from writing down your daily workout regime, making notes of your personal best achievements, or (if you feel extra geeky) create a spreadsheet that can compare your monthly progress.
As an addition, you could take photographs of your body every 4-6 weeks and stick these into your fitness planner. These will act as great motivators when you see the positive change your body goes through.
2. Eat right but don’t be overly strict
The key to achieving any fitness goals is to fuel your body with the right food. This requires planning, will power and, sadly, laying off the beer a little. However, a healthy diet shouldn’t have you dreading every meal and going hungry all the time. Invest in a recipe book that promotes healthy, easy to prepare meals (Lean in 15 for example), in order to make dieting more of a lifestyle.
The key to sticking to this lifestyle though is knowing when to allow yourself a treat. Give yourself one day (we recommend the weekend, probably Saturday), where you eat pretty much what you want. By doing this, you not only reset your metabolism, but you make it easier to stick to your healthy eating for the rest of the week.
3. Make exercise fun and engaging
Similar to the dieting point above, making your workout routine more fun and varied will help to keep you motivated and interested. Instead of running on a treadmill at a steady pace for an hour, try something new. Try interval training, take up a new sport, go street running. Doing something different every day not only gives your body a more complete workout, but it will stimulate your brain more and release more endorphins - which result in increased happiness and well-being.
4. Set a goal/challenge
If there’s one important way of sticking to a plan, it’s having a goal to aim for. Beyond all of the ‘I want to lose 5lbs’ and ‘I want a six pack’ targets, set yourself something bigger to achieve. Sign up for a charity event, like Tough Mudder or the Three Peaks Challenge. Plan a number of 10km runs through the year. If you feel really brave, sign up for the London marathon.
Giving yourself an event like this to aim for will put a deadline on your fitness achievements. The same goes for booking a holiday. If you are working out with the conviction of having a holiday or event to train for, then, trust us, the six pack and biceps will just fall into place.
5. Envisage a better you
Lastly, take some time before bed each night to reflect on where you want to be in a year’s time. This can either relate to a future challenge (as mentioned above), or simply a physical state you’d like to get to. Reminding yourself why you eat so healthy and why you go to the gym every day will help you stay on course. Complacency creeps in when we lose sight of this.
And it’s okay if you falter. We are human after all. The key to progression is recognising your mistakes and improving yourself thereafter. This is where the growth is.
Now get to the gym. Don’t let 2018’s resolutions become carryovers for 2019. Achieve them all and leave them in this year!