As we enter 2020, powerful New Year’s resolutions are made. For many people, it is the promise to improve their health, to get fit, and to lose weight this coming year. They join a gym, sign up for an annual membership and launch themselves into a training program. Unfortunately, by March, gym numbers always drop off. How is it that all of these determined individuals can lose their enthusiasm so quickly? How do you ensure you are one of the successful few that actually last the distance and get fit?
Over the years of working in the fitness trade, I have seen what drives people to success and what leads them to failure. There are a number of key actions that you need to incorporate into your game plan to help you stick to your resolutions. The most vital of these is to set reasonable and clearly defined goals.
As a fitness and weight loss expert, the first thing I do when a client starts with me is, I find out what their goal is. It is important to have well-formed outcomes and strategies for success in place. Too often people tell me they want to lose weight but that they don’t know how much they want to lose, or when they plan to lose it by. Even if they have set a weight loss goal, it is often unrealistic. A goal that is unachievable simply sets you up for failure from the word go!
Most people would readily admit that expecting to lose 10 pounds of fat or gain 10 pounds of muscle in two weeks is unrealistic. Yet subconsciously, many people not only want to believe that these results are possible but that they are actually likely. When you are waiting for change to happen, progress can seem slow. but over the long haul your achievement when looked back on, will be dramatic. Remember that even to scale a mountain you must take one step at a time. If you are currently at 30% body fat and you are losing 1% fat every month, by the end of a year you will be just 18%. You will have gone from obese to athletic in one year. So that 1% a month, might not sound like a lot at the time if you are busting your gut in the gym and watching everything you eat, but by the end of the year, you will look and feel like a different person.
Whether you train by yourself or hire a personal trainer you should have a method of gauging your success along the way. Regular body fat measurements are by far the most effective way of tracking your progress. This can be done with calipers or using a bio-impedance scale. It is important to measure regularly to show you if you are on the path to success or if you need to readjust your actions to get back on track.
You need to decide what you want take consistent and deliberate action to get there and learn from mistakes or failures rather than throwing in the towel when things get tough. If you find it is not working for you then change your approach. I would recommend writing your goals down and reviewing them regularly. Give yourself a deadline; if you don’t state when you will have completed it by, it may never get done. Big tasks can be overwhelming, so if you have chosen a goal that is going to stretch you, then break it down into smaller, more manageable objectives.
You also need to be mentally stimulated if you are to keep up your enthusiasm. If you find your resolve starting to fade then try a new challenge such as joining a fitness class, hiring a personal trainer or having a nutritionist work with you. Do whatever it takes to ensure your resolutions are not lost in the winter blues. If it’s tougher then you had initially expected, don’t give up. Just appreciate that it makes success taste that much sweeter when you get there!