Happy New Year! There’s a high chance, as you read this, that two things have happened over the last month or more.
1 – You’ve enjoyed Christmas (in reality it was most of December!) and are feeling the effects of too much alcohol, sugar and carbohydrate rich foods?
2 – You’d like to make some changes to the above, and would gladly tick one or more improvement area; improving sleep, energy, waistline and food choices again?
Here are my starting the New Year with results, not resolutions;
EVERYTHING STARTS WITH A PLAN
Know what you want to achieve and why. If it’s weight loss, often, ‘I want to lose weight” isn’t enough of a mental anchor to get through and over obstacles that will undoubtedly appear.
What are the real reasons for the weight loss? What would it mean and change in your outlook and daily life if you achieved that weight loss?
WORK OUT THE FIRST STEPS OF THE JOURNEY:
WHAT things are you currently doing too much of?
WHAT could you substitute some of the above for?
(Often just stopping or eliminating something, results in a mental ‘kickback’ after a few days and people falling off the wagon. Replacing something as opposed to eliminating often works better)
WHAT do you need to start, or do more of?
WHAT obstacles are likely to occur, such as kid’s clubs, work projects, or social engagements which WILL occur – but don’t need to be a sticking point, merely acceptance and then planning around?
WHAT is the FIRST step you could make RIGHT NOW, which is an improvement upon yesterday – and starting this is crucial – no matter how small?
JOURNEY OVER DESTINATION
Too often we place all our focus on what we want/want to achieve.
For sure, we MUST know our ‘destination’, but just like a holiday or trip to relatives, once we know our destination, ALL the focus should be on the journey.
Let’s say you’re heading to Cornwall – once you know this, you should forget about it until arrival! All your FOCUS should be on the journey, the roads you’ll take, the ones to avoid, best time to leave, the lunch stops etc. These are the things which will get you to your destination, not the destination itself.
This is exactly the same with weight loss or self improvement.
I often hear talk around lacking motivation or willpower, but it’s rarely something which just taps us on the shoulder and says “OK, I’m ready, let’s go for a run or to the gym”. Motivation comes from starting, taking action, or beginning a plan.
STARTING IS THE KEY
No matter how small, and then repeat again and often. Just like rolling a snowball, it starts small, but with regular ‘rolls’, builds in size and momentum (especially if downhill!) – action steps are NO different.
BUILDING A NEW HABIT
If you’re looking to create a new daily habit of some kind, it’s MUCH easier, mentally and physically, to action it into your day immediately after something you already do habitually.
So let’s say you’re going to start your exercise regime, with 5 press-ups and 10 squats every day, and double in week two. Pick something you do habitually; you might say: “Right, I clean my teeth twice a day, the moment I’ve finished that I’m doing my press-ups and squats!” Job done, twice a day!
FIVE QUICK IMPROVEMENT TIPS:
1) More water
The fact that our body is made from over 60% water so shows its importance. Lots of Christmas ‘food and drink’ has dehydrated us, leading to tiredness, fake hunger and poor concentration – aim for 1.5 litres over a day
2) Protein breakfast
Carbs have been on the menu the last month, and the excess has contributed to how you currently feel. Add in protein (meat, fish, eggs etc) to help regulate blood sugar levels and therefore energy
3) Start small
Like I said above, just START! 5 min jog, 15min walk, 5 minute workout. The important thing is mentally and physically starting, to break that resistance barrier
4) Get it out!
Alcohol out of the fridge, mince pies etc out the cupboard. If it’s convenient, it’s available – on reflection, you’ve surely had enough?!
5) Set yourself a 10-day cut off
If what you’ve planned isn’t happening after 10 days, reassess what or how you’re doing something, don’t keep repeating the same things.
Good luck, and I hope 2019 is a successful and healthy year for you! Feel free to get in contact if you’d like some additional support and help.
Mark Raynsford is a Personal Trainer of 17 years’ experience, living in Milford, Surrey.
His client list comprises TV presenters, business owners/people who are looking to transfer success in business to success in health and body, and parents who feel it’s time to shift some ‘family’ focus onto themselves. Offering both ‘in person’ personal training and online support and plans.