It's Christmas time, my favourite time of year! It is full of festive occasions, spending time with friends and family and eating lots of yummy food. Relax and enjoy yourself! 2016 is a time for new beginnings, setting new years resolutions and goals. Now normally they are along the lines of 'I am giving up chocolate' or 'I am going to the gym everyday' and whilst these are good goals to have, they are not realistic or specific enough. I am writing my top tips for creating goals and most of all helping you to stick with them and make 2016 the best yet!
Use a Journal:
When you write down your goals, they hold you accountable for your actions. It is also a great way to look back on what you have written, reflect and adapt your goals as the year goes by. In able to use your journal efficiently, you should start to document you your meals and workouts and plan them the week prior so you are all set for the week. Sundays could be grocery shopping and meal prep days, so set yourself a couple of hours so you can achieve this. If you love attending classes or working out with friends, check the gyms timetable and figure out a schedule that works for you and note it all down.
Pick a Lifestyle Goal:
Your goal doesn't always have to be based on your physical appearance, in fact it is essential to have other aspirations in life than 'Please Santa, Can I have Abs?!' Focus on your lifestyle, and how YOU can strive for the best. It could be from finishing your exams, getting a promotion in work or joining a club to pursue a hobby. This goal could also be putting in some extra 'Me Time' every week so you have a spare hour (or day) to do something you enjoy. It could be a shopping trip, lunch with a friend or getting a manicure, anything that gives you time for yourself and most of all, enjoy it!
As a Personal Trainer, I like to set my clients fitness related goals. Yes we work out to be healthy, keep fit and achieve a toned body, however, in order to keep the motivation and fun factor alive, it is a great idea to set yourself some goals within the gym. This could be skipping for 1 minute without stopping or doing 15 push ups on my feet. This gives you something to work towards and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Once you've smashed that task, tick it off and aim higher, setting yourself shorter term goals throughout the year as you progress.
It is important to look at yourself in a positive light and instead of always thinking about what you wish to change, think about what you already love about yourself! Now this surprisingly can be quite tricky because it tends to be the negative comments that are constantly on your mind, and stopping to praise yourself is a lot harder. I would like you to start by writing down 2 things you like about your appearance. Step number 2 would now be what you would like to achieve throughout the year (yes I mean 12 months, not 2 weeks). If your goal is to tone up, getting fitter, gain muscle or lose body fat/pounds then that's great! What you need to make sure is that your goal is realistic. You cannot lose a stone in a month, it is simply unhealthy and very unachievable. If you find yourself saying this after 1 (or 5) too many mince pies, remind yourself that this is a long term goal. Change in appearance in regards to weight loss and body composition is a slow, but positive journey, it cannot be rushed. You must just be consistent, focused and motivated to achieve the results you desire. This is where your Journal (Step 1) will come into play, you can use it to help you stay on track by scheduling your workouts and holding yourself accountable for healthy choices.
A health goal could simply be to eat clean, wholesome meals at least 6 days a week with 1 or 2 cheat meals. If you struggle with staying on track this may be a great challenge for you to be yourself to the test. You could also be struggling with a health related illness such as type 2 diabetes, conary heart disease, depression, obesity or acne. Your goal could be to have this problems under control by focusing on the healthiest and natural way to improve in these areas.
The Inner You:
Ok so we have covered your physical appearance and your fitness abilities but now it is time to focus on you. You, yourself and YOU. This can be a tough one but I really want you to think about how you think of yourself and how you perceive others. You actions, attitudes and nature make up how you are, so let's think about who you are and who you would like to be. 'How can I be the best version of myself?' This could be something like checking in on your friends more often, having a calmer attitude towards work colleagues or being more friendly to others. They sound simple but tiny thoughts can have a huge impact on our mood and self love. This links in quite nicely with my point above talking about having time to think about yourself and have 'me time'. You could achieve a calmer self by perhaps trying yoga or meditation a couple of times a week.
Time Frame and Details: 'WHAT WHEN AND HOW?!':
When setting yourself goals by following the above steps we need to make sure we consider a time frame in which we wished to achieve them and most of all, how are we going to?
- Give yourself a time frame to when you would like to achieve each goal by. For example 'I would like to lose 8lbs in 10 weeks'
- How are you going to achieve this? Your workout schedule may need some fine tuning, you may need to incorporate an extra session of LSD cardio per week, you could clean up your diet for 10 weeks to test how well you can do. You could reduce your snacking to 1 or 2 treats a week. When you are more specific and detailed your goals are easier to reach because you have already designed the solution.
My 2016 Goals
I am going to share my 2016 Goals with you to help you see what sort of things you can push yourself to do and give you a couple of examples.
- My Lifestyle Goal: I will expand my online presence by updating my blog once a week/fortnight to ensure I am helping you guys out as much as I possibly can.
- My Fitness Goal: I will take part in the Brentwood half marathon to raise money for Cancer Research. I will work towards this by focusing on adding running to my training and push myself harder than I do currently.
- My Health Goal: I will focus on keeping my diet as clean as possibly, nourishing myself daily with vegetables and macronutrients. I will be limiting my chocolate intake to 1-2 times a week.
- My Appearance: I will be at my comfortable weight of 9st 6lbs by May, reducing my body fat slightly. I will do this by incorporating 1 extra 30 minute cardio session into my workout schedule and focus on my nutritional intake.
- The Inner Me: I will learn to give myself some slack and have positive conversations with myself to give me confidence in my work and myself that 'I can do this!'