Monday, 2 January 2012

2012 - fresh start

However you feel about new years resolutions, the  a new year always feels like a new start, a fresh chance at whatever it is we would like to change or achieve.

If you wish to change your weight or improve your fitness (the two are inextricably linked!) there are no quick fixes and only by making a long term commitment will results be seen.  But don't get depressed! -  next christmas is going to come around anyway, the choice is yours as to whether it sees you 2 stone lighter and running marathons (or whatever your particular goals are!) or just the same as you are now! The only failure is in not trying!

Happyfit guide to change

1. make a goal
- only by defining and writing down your goals can you hope to succeed. How can you know you've got there if you don't know the destination?   Go on, grab a pen and paper and try to rough out a goal.  This may be easy (lose 2 stone) or more difficult to define.  Write something down, it can be as big (run a marathon) or as small as you wish (perform ten pressups).  Big goals can be broken down into smaller, less overwhelming goals later on.

2. set a timescale
- lose 2 stone in in four months  - is now a SMART goal - i.e. specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-managed.
lose 2 stone is two weeks - is not SMART - as its neither achievable nor realistic and will lead to feelings of failure
so be careful with your timescales so not to demotivate yourself

3. workout a plan
- now you have the goal and the timescale you can work out how you are going to achieve it - the smaller details, the day-by-day or week-by-week tasks that you will have to perform in order to get to your goal.
For example, to lose 2 stone, first clear all cupboards, of junk food and leftover christmas goodies, second plan menu and meals on a weekly basis, stock up on fruit and veg and healthy foods. Plan an exercise schedule.

4.  DO the plan
Follow the plan - you have to actually do the stuff you have written down!  If you are anything like me you will spend lots of time doing lovely colour coded lists and exercise schedules and then sit back and pat yourself on the back for a job well done! the hard bit starts now, - follow the plan, but don't be too rigid, if things change and life gets in the way, change the plan - just keep going!

5. Strategies
It will get hard to follow the plan - the original motivation will wear off at some point and you will struggle.  Be ready for this and put strategies in place for when it happens.  surround yourself with healthy food but allow yourself a meal off per week and a treat, surround yourself with positive people.  Tell people what you are trying to do and ask for their support.
Join an exercise class and pay up-front.  work-out with a friend, hire a personal trainer - they will motivate you and push you when you can't.
Remind yourself of your ultimate goal and how far you have come, difficult times will pass and you will get back on track.  Be flexible and reevaluate all the time.  Forward progress may require you to go sideways (or even backwards sometimes) but never, ever stop!

Good luck, for more advice and motivation - sign up to my newsletter on the website -
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