As 2012 comes to an end, many of us begin to reflect on what we’ve achieved and how far we have come in the year that has passed. Whether you had a great year or a tough one, 2013 brings with it the opportunity for a fresh start.
One of the most common resolutions people make for the New Year is to be in better shape, to lose weight or to be healthier. These are all great goals to have, but ‘losing weight and exercising more’ is hardly practical advice. Without a well-thought out plan of action you will find it very difficult to achieve your fitness goals. So how do you turn your goal into a plan?
Write it down
Make it official – write your goal down on paper and keep it somewhere in view. A clear, short and focused sentence will motivate you to keep going. It will also remind you of what you promised yourself at the start of the year.
If your goal is to lose weight, specify how much weight you want to lose and the time frame, e.g. “I want to lose 10 kilograms by Easter” is a realistic goal you can really work on. It is also easier to measure your successes this way. Consult with a professional for an individual recommendation.
Stick to one goal at a time
It takes effort to commit, don’t overwhelm yourself by committing to more than one thing. Choose one habit you want to kick, or a behaviour you want to adopt and make your aim to work on it throughout the year.
View it as a lifestyle change
The only effective way to get into the habit of exercising and eating better is to integrate it into your everyday life. Tear yourself away from bad habits and create good ones that not only fit into your schedule, but are part of it.
Keep track of your achievements
It’s always a good idea to record your progress so that you can mark your achievements and stay motivated all the way through. Keep a calendar or a journal beside your bed and write as much as you can in it each day. This will keep your motivation up and you will always know where you are at with your fitness program.
Involve your friends
With fitness goals many people find it easier to have a work-out buddy – a family member, a friend or personal trainer. Tell your family and friends about your resolution so that they can support you and ensure you stick to it.
What is hard work without the rewards? Treat yourself when you reach each milestone. And don’t be too hard on yourself – messing up a few times doesn’t spell the end of the world.
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