New Year’s resolutions are more of a fleeting trend than a genuine commitment. Everyone wants to get fit or lose weight in a matter of days. So be prepared to hear your friends, colleagues and family talk about their diet and wellbeing plans for 2016, because there’s a big chance this will be the main topic of conversation at the dinner table this month. Unfortunately, come February, most people will have forgotten about their good resolutions. But that doesn’t mean you have to quit too.
To help you stick to your 2016 resolutions, we asked the Slendertone Ambassadors to share their top tips and tricks for staying on track and motivated throughout this potentially life-changing health and fitness journey:
- One of the main reasons why we often find it hard to achieve – and ultimately stick to – our New Year’s resolutions in the long run is that we tend to make one very long and very unrealistic to-do list. Narrow your list down to one (maximum two) thing in your life or about yourself that you’re unhappy with and really want to change – such as your fitness or your weight, and focus on making it happen.
- Choose an objective that motivates you. Quite often, our New Year’s resolutions are directly influenced by family or friends and mean very little to us personally, and do not match our mind-set or needs. It is therefore crucial for you to actually want to commit to your resolutions in order to achieve more long-term goals.
- Start making the necessary changes in your life as soon as you can. Don’t just wait until you wake up feeling motivated and full of energy before you seriously start to think of ways to change or adapt your daily routine in order to become a healthier version of you. Even the tiniest change or the smallest amount of effort is enough to get you started and then keep you going.
- Make yourself accountable by talking to someone about your New Year’s resolutions. Telling others about your health and fitness plans will not only remind you of them, but force you to stick by them. According to British psychologist Richard Wiseman, men tend to be more successful when they interact with people whose goals are similar to theirs, like joining a gym or giving up smoking. It’s also good for them to focus on the reward that comes with achieving their goals. Women , however, tend to find it a lot easier to reach their objectives if they share them with a close friend or family member.
- Think of your New Year’s resolutions as a step-by-step process – don’t rush into it. If your goals are unrealistic and don’t fit around your current lifestyle or routine, you’ll give up before actually getting started. If you want to get in shape, then aim to join a gym by a date that fits around your schedule – but no later than that. If you want to lose 10 pounds (around five kilos) then aim to lose around a pound (or half a kilo) a week in the first month to see how your body responds to your new diet and exercise plan.
- Avoid making rash decisions and making claims such as ‘never again!’ Be realistic and go easy on yourself on days when you feel like you’re on the verge of giving up, or are struggling to keep up with your goals.
- Don’t worry if things don’t work out exactly as you’d hoped. Nobody’s perfect. Learn from your mistakes, take a deep breath, and try again.
Don’t set yourself too many impossible goals. Pick out one New Year’s resolution that means something to you and that will make you feel good, both mentally and physically. Choosing an objective that you know you can stick to is the key to success.
Start by taking small, meaningful steps toward your final objective. Once you get used to the changes taking place in your everyday life and these become a habit, you can pick up the pace or make additional changes to your lifestyle or routine.
If you’ve dropped a dress size or completed a 5K run without breaking a sweat, reward yourself with something that makes you feel special, like a massage or a delicious (not-so-healthy) meal. Allowing yourself to relax and indulge from time to time will help keep you motivated for longer.
Remember that change – the good kind – isn’t always easy. You’ll need to stay strong and be fully committed to your new goals in order to achieve them.