“New Year New You”
We are approaching the time where a lot of people dust off their resolution list and read everything that they wanted to accomplish this year. We start the year off on an optimistic note where we envision a healthier body but look at the scale and see that it’s either the same or a higher number. Why is it that we start the year off so well, only to abandon our goals before the end of January? With a lot of new clients, I notice an “all or nothing” attitude to their fitness and nutrition. That “start on Monday” mindset is a big reason why you keep writing down the same goal, only to realize that you are in the same place on December 31st every year. One big issue lies in how we think about and approach our fitness goals. They say doing the same thing but expecting different results is the definition of madness, so why do you apply this to your fitness goals? The only way to truly have a “new year new you” is to actually become the new you FIRST. Writing down goals isn’t necessarily going to change you, but you have to mentally become this new person first and approach your goals from this new perspective. Rather than waiting until the new year, why not start now? Why not lay the groundwork necessary for you to hit the ground running come January 1? This method will teach you how to turn your fitness goals into a lifestyle rather than just a quick fix.
This time around, focus on the big picture. Set out some time to think about what your fitness goal is in three different categories. Set out a physical goal. Write a health goal. Write a mental health goal. Then break it down into incremental steps that will make this big goal achievable so you don’t get burnt out in two weeks like everyone else. I always recommend working with a professional if it is within your budget. After you establish your main goals, write down why you want to achieve them and put reminders in places where you will see it on a daily basis to help keep you disciplined. The “why” should only be for your benefit, and I recommend keeping your “why” private. After you define your “why,” it’s time to tackle the “how.” How will you achieve your goals? We all know that a healthy diet and exercise are key, but many people don’t realize how much of the behind the scenes work can take a toll on our fitness goals. Regardless of your goals, poor sleep, high stress, and dehydration will hinder your results. For the first couple weeks of December, focus on getting quality rest, drinking enough water (the amount varies per person, but a great general amount is one gallon), and managing stress. These three things will help you start the new year on the right foot. Small steps yield big results. Ditch that “all or nothing” attitude when it comes to your fitness goals because that attitude has resulted in a whole lot of nothing. For the last week or two in December, focus on moving your body more. Use what you can as often as you can. Learn to listen to your body, not others (unless you pay them for their opinion). Go on walks if the weather allows. Do home workouts. Go to the gym (with a plan) and learn a new exercise and/or use the cardio equipment.
When it comes to nutrition, ditch the myths surrounding cutting out carbs or fat. Ditch all the myths you know because they will not help you reach your goals. Balance is the only way for this to become a lifestyle for you. Carbs are good for you. Fat is good for you. Protein is good for you. Your only goal should be getting in more micronutrients (vegetables and fruit). Eat foods you enjoy. Try out a healthier version of your favorite food(s), if you like it stick with it, if you don’t like it then don’t force yourself to eat it. Food is fuel, and, call me crazy, but I believe that you should enjoy what you eat. Take this time to enjoy the holiday foods, and make it your goal to make your plate as colorful as possible. Figure out what “healthy” foods you love. Once you’ve spent an entire month making small changes, you’ll already feel more energetic, rested, and ready to keep the momentum going. Motivation will always come and go, but the small changes and defining your “why” will keep you disciplined in the new year.
You may also notice that your goals may have changed (that means you did it right!). For the entire month of January, you should have a detailed workout plan. No more figuring things out on the fly. If a personal trainer isn’t in your budget, you still have many free or low cost options (you can find a discount code on my Instagram #shamelessplug). Your fitness goal should be following the plan as closely as possible. If you have to wake up earlier, do it. You chose this for yourself for a reason, so you owe it to yourself to see it through (and you paid good money for it). Your nutrition goal should be to make it as easy as possible for you to “stay on track”. This could mean meal prepping, eating foods you enjoy, working with a dietician, etc. Do not deprive yourself, but also keep in mind that what you put into your body matters. Notice how it makes you feel. The best general diet advice I can give is stay far, far away from keto and detox juices/smoothies.
If you follow this method, come February 1st, you will have outlasted the other resolutioners and will be well on your way to crushing your goals! An additional step you can take, which I do with all of my clients, is to create “mini goals” that can be achieved in two weeks. These “mini goals” will help keep you motivated, focused, and on track to achieving your bigger, long term goals without leaving you overwhelmed.
All of these tips will help you achieve your goals, but I’m going to leave you with one last bit of advice--remember that the only way to become a new you and finally reach that fitness goal you’ve been writing down for years is to take small steps before you go all in. This is a lifestyle and you should enjoy your life.