Are you sticking to your New Year’s resolutions?*

Friday, 27 January 2017, By Louisa Amato

January 2017 is almost over and some of you may be well on your way to achieving those goals you set for yourself on New Year's. If that's the case, congratulations and keep it up! But for those of you who have already thrown your resolutions out the window, do not despair! It is never too late to make a fresh start! Here are a few tips to help you set your goals for 2017 and achieve them.

1.    Write it, be specific and share it.

"I want to lose weight" is a common New Year's resolution but how do you measure your success? How much do you want to lose? By when do you want to have lost that weight? How will you achieve your weight loss? Ensure that you make your resolutions, follow the SMART model: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound.

Research has shown that people who put their goals on paper are significantly more likely to achieve them than those who merely make a mental note of them. Place your goals in key spots where you will see them often as a reminder of the commitment you have made. Sharing your goals with friends and family will also enhance your chances of success. Create your own support group by attending group classes (or use the Community tab in VVT) and sharing your struggles and successes with like-minded people.

2.    Break it up

Change won't happen overnight and it will most likely be a process to change your 'bad' behaviours. It is therefore important to think about this process and break it up into more manageable pieces. Most resolutions actually require many behaviour changes. A successful weight loss program for example will require you to take up exercise, shop, cook and eat differently and maybe even change who you choose to socialise with. Although "I will lose 10 kg" sounds good, it is far less likely to work in the long term than "This week I will go to the gym three times and bring a healthy lunch to work every day". These goals are specific and small in comparison to the big picture and you'll feel good when you achieve each one which will help you to keep going.

3.    Plan for success and anticipate problems

To give you the best chance of success you need to research the change that you are making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Read up on it, use all resources available to you (such as Vision TV) so that you know what the change might entail and you may even find yourself looking forward to making the change. Planning ahead also ensures that things run as smoothly as possible. Anticipate for problems and make a list. This will allow you to identify 'dangerous' situations and come up with ways to cope with them.

4.    Hold yourself accountable

Accountability is key. This could mean paying in advance for a trainer or a group class that demands attendance, scheduling gym sessions with friends, filling out a food diary or a training diary. Make sure you keep track of what you are doing so you're able to see where you can make improvements if you're not achieving the goals you set for yourself.

5.    Question your motives

You may find yourself losing motivation quickly if you have set yourself superficial goals. By asking yourself why you set your goal, what you want to achieve and developing answers that elicit powerful emotional responses will help keep you going when the going gets tough. Although exercise will help you to look better, is that truly why you exercise? Or is it because it is a path to health and happiness, or maybe it will allow you to stay active with your children or grandchildren or reduce your risk of heart disease that runs in your family? These deeper intentions can make all the difference in sticking to your goals.

6.   Don't beat yourself up

Although you have done your best to set yourself up for success you may still slip up. That's OK! Evidence shows that beating yourself up about a transgression and being overcritical can have a negative impact on your success. Instead, accept your imperfections and practice self-kindness to stay motivated. Such lapses on the path to success are inevitable but how you react to them is not. Be kind to yourself, identify what caused the slip-up and think of ways you might avoid it from happening again. Learn from it and move on. Don't give up.

7.    Celebrate your success

Whether it's a successful weigh in, running an extra mile or trying a new exercise class, celebrate each milestone you reach. Choose a reward that won't undo your hard work: a weekend away, a massage, some new fitness gear or a night out at the movies. Regular "treats" can give you that boost you need to keep going.

 

Whatever your plans and goals are for 2017 come share them with us at Vision Personal Training Taringa. The whole team will be here to support you and cheer you on!

Sources

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resolution.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/10-ways-to-make-your-new-years-resolutions-stick#1

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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