It is that time of year where we all decide that the new year brings the new you and so we start to set ourselves goals and ambitions in order to improve our life. However shockingly approximately, 50% of us give up on our resolutions before 6 months! Also those who take on fitness programmes there is only 8% commitment after 12 months!
Quite often we want things to happen too fast and too soon. We don’t want to be waiting around for things, in a world full of super fast communication and technology, we have become programmed into thinking everything should be done almost instantly. So many start the New Year with a crash diet, depleting vital nutrients from your intake, ultimately setting up to fail. However for a long term change, comes long term commitment to do so. Be ready to make slow steps towards your goals, that are realistic and achievable.
So what ever goal your aim to set yourself, here are some tips on how to successfully achieve in 2016.
Ask yourself the SMART principles:
Specific – Do not be generalised when it comes to setting resolutions, find out exactly what you aim to achieve. Do you want to drop down a dress size? Start running every week? Eat more vegetables? Be more adventurous?
Measurable – Can you monitor your progress? How often will you need to check how far you have come? Make sure you can reflect on your journey throughout the process, because it will allow you to see that your efforts are paying off, or how you may need to alter your strategy.
Attainable – When you look at what is most important to you, it is from here you begin to establish the attitudes and actions you need to make in order to reach your goals. Try not to over complicate things, keep it simple, and personal to you, to ensure you stick with the plan.
Realistic – Allow yourself enough time to make the change possible. You have to be honest with yourself in what you are aiming for. There is no point in setting yourself a goal of running a marathon in 2 months if you have never ran in your life! Create short-term and long-term plans that tie together for your overall transformation.
Time – Finally you need to figure out a good time-frame for you to achieve your goal. This is important for you to be able to map out a plan, as to what you need to have done and by when. Remember to keep in mind all the other SMART steps when thinking about this as you need to be sensible with how long it will take to be successful.
I am sure you are now sitting there thinking, “what on Earth are these steps?” – we focus too much on the end result, not looking at the here and now. By taking time out to review your current lifestyle, commitments and beliefs, you will be able to make a better judgement on where to begin your journey towards positive change.
Start by writing a list down of your goals, then next to it, write what you need to do differently today in order to make that first step. An example is if your goal was to eat breakfast every morning, your step would be to get up earlier to allow yourself time to eat!
Mould your goals to YOU
We are all too guilty of comparisons these days, especially when looking to improve our health and happiness. However we fall short here as every single one of us is unique, and will not deal with or react to the same experience as another. When seeking change, look only to how it will affect you; make suitable adjustments to fit your lifestyle, to guarantee you stay on target. So if you have a long shift at work, make sure you take your gym kit with you, so as you leave you can head straight to smash your workout! You could even fit it in before work as most gyms will open at 6am.
A visual board is personal to you, as it includes images that are relevant to your specific goals. They can give you motivation and inspiration everyday, as well as remind you what you are aiming for. It is a creative way to start you off on your journey. This is my mood board for 2016 – I will not reveal what it is about, but you can take your guesses!
Make it part of your schedule
Organisation is key to succeeding at anything, and it is so important when if comes to maintaining the change. “We are creatures of habit” as 40% of our daily actions come from routine. Add your daily steps into your diary, even putting aside dedicated time-frames. This way you can see how it fits into your day and prevent you from pulling out. Preparation is super for achieving goals, whether you need to start meal prepping or work around family commitments to make sure to get that workout in.
Understanding the WHY
I believe this is the most fundamental step of them all. In order for you to achieve anything, you must really begin to understand WHY you desire this goal. What makes you feel you need make this change? Are you lacking self-confidence? Do you feel the need to fit in with the crowd? How will this goal affect you physically and emotionally?
With anything, you must know exactly why you are embarking on this road to changing or improving your life, because it will allow you to see the meaning behind the thoughts. It may seem a strong necessity to do something different, however we can be skewed by mis-conception, which could have negative consequences. Unfortunately I am a subject to this and know all too well how blinded you can be about the true meaning of your goals. However, this is why I share my story, to hopefully help others to see another way of dealing with your problems rather than go in wearing a blackout mask.
You are beautiful, worthy of love and happiness. Seek self-belief above all other pressures you face and this will guide you through any hardship you face.
Have a wonderful 2016, may it bring lots of wonderful memories for you to cherish x