With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, it’s time to start reflecting on your past year and begin envisioning what you want for the next. This time of year presents a great opportunity to get off to a good start and dive head first into your fitness goals. However, because many of us have just binged on bulk food and drink through the holiday season, it can be easy to create some unrealistic New Year’s resolutions to help and ease the guilt!
The bottom line – setting realistic New Year’s resolutions will get you a lot further on your fitness journey than those that are deemed ‘too difficult’ come February 1st.
Not sure where to start?
Here’s 10 realistic New Year’s resolution ideas to feed your new year motivation!
- Try something new! It’s easy to get stuck in a stale gym routine but this can have dangerous repercussions. It can mean struggling to continuously push yourself, repeatedly exercising limited muscle groups or lacking the motivation to work out entirely. It’s important to keep it fresh. Go to a new gym class, learn one new exercise each week or get your mate to tag along and show you his/her routine. Your body and mind will thank you for the refresh!
- Change one thing about your diet. There are parts of all diets that could use a bit of a makeover. However, committing to a complete and instant overhaul is going to be hard to stick to – especially if your body is used to a pattern. Changing one small thing can have a huge impact. This could be drinking an extra glass of water through the day, shifting the time you eat by a half hour or replacing sugary cereals with protein-filled oats.
- Walk, jog or bike to your destination rather than drive. Up those steps! While there will always be those times when the weather is forbidding, or distance is too far, adding in one additional time slot of low-impact exercise is a great way to get outside for the day and improve your head space.
- Limit screen time by one hour. Our addiction and dependence on technology is continuously growing. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing across all aspects of our daily life but setting a goal where you reduce mindless screen time by one hour a day could help aid in achieving your other fitness goals by clearing up some more free time!
- Learn one new recipe each month. Let’s be honest – it can be boring to eat from the same repertoire week by week. However, many of us may not have the time to research a new recipe, locate the ingredients in the store and dedicate the brain power to make it. By only doing it once a month, you give yourself some more flexibility. Fill your body with the nutrients it needs and become a master of 12 new recipes by the end of the year!
- Set up an accountability system. Take part in a New Year’s resolution with a friend. The benefits of this are endless – you train harder due to having direct competition, you can engage in partner exercises, you get to be social and you have double the amount of motivation. This way, if one of you just ‘isn’t feeling it’, you still have the other one to amp you up and keep you on track!
- Put that bad habit to rest – permanently! We all have one, whether it’s smoking, eating too fast, bad posture etc. there is always something we can seek to improve! Our advice is to do your research and come up with a thorough step by step plan. You should understand your triggers as well as create a list of all the reasons you should be kicking it to the curb.
- Take part in an organised fitness competition. This could be a 5K run, a soccer comp, or a marathon! Setting a date and putting down some money has revealed it can be that motivational push you may need.
- Make a less/more list. This list contains all the things you want to do less and more of through the year – pretty self-explanatory, right? It’s a great way to visualise any tiny negative habits you have and replace them with positivity instead. Examples: less complaining, more encouraging or less junk food, more veggies. Sounds cheesy but hang it on your wall and use it as a constant reminder – it works!
- Set a fitness goal that includes multiple small steps rather than one big leap. Instead of creating a blanket goal such as ‘get healthier or lose weight’ try creating some more realistic, measurable goals. What this means is that you should create a multi-step plan. Start off with something easy you’re going to do in the first week of setting your resolution. This could be something as small as ‘buy a pair of trainers’. Following this, set something a bit bigger such as ‘go to the gym and use three pieces of equipment.’ Creating multiple small steps makes the big one less daunting.
The New Year is a great time to seize the opportunity at hand and reflect on where you are in life. While setting goals is a vital part of feeling a sense of purpose and accomplishment, always make sure they’re realistic so that you are not disappointed if they fall through. You got this!