Ready for a revolutionary approach to “new year, new me”
January means New Year, new me… right? Well, not necessarily. We think there’s a better way to approach your fitness goals in January. And it might just lead to more success year round.
Have you ever noticed that extremes are common in fitness. No pain, no gain. Team No-Days-Off. It’s all or nothing. What if there was another way? A way which might not get as many likes on Insta, but might set you up for more success in the long-term. We’re talking about fitness balance. No big, dramatic overnight changes. Try these 3 steps and smash your fitness goals this year.
Say no to overnight changes
Most wellness goals insist on making a big change overnight. You know the kind of thing: as of tomorrow, I’ll drink 4 litres of water, walk 10,000 steps, only spend 1 hour on social media, and go to bed at 10pm. Sounds great, but hardly anyone can actually do a 180 on their habits and behaviours.
Instead: take things more slowly (then the new habit is likely to stick!). Choose one thing to work on tomorrow, and then break it down into small steps. Do the smallest bit tomorrow, and congratulate yourself for getting it done. Instead of 10,000 steps, how about “go for a walk”? It’s still better than no walk at all.
If it’s drastic, don’t do it
Fitness resolutions always seem to be all or nothing. Thou shalt start going to the gym 4 times a week, track your macros every day, change what you eat, and start taking progress pics. Doesn’t it ever feel… a bit much? Look, if a resolution feels too drastic for you, don’t do it. You know what you can cope with. Everyone has a tipping point, beyond which things become counterproductive.
Instead: make one small change, and nail it. Actually making one successful change is far better than failing to make 10 changes at once. If you still want to push further and make bigger changes, there will be time for that. For now, just do what you can. It’s not a competition.
Improve 1% at a time
Have you heard about “the rule of 1%”? It’s also knows as marginal gains. This clever tactic is used in business, elite sport, and personal development. But we like it best for personal goals, like improving health and fitness. The idea is that habits can’t be changed in a day. But all of us can do something 1% better.
Instead: Focus on improving your area of focus by just 1% every day. Stack those micro-changes and before long you’ll have made huge progress. But the pressure will be off, and the changes will bed in to your daily life without you noticing. The 1% rule is the smartest way to approach habit change.
The trouble with fitness New Years resolutions is that one size does not fit all. Going to the gym 6 times a week might be easy for some, and totally impossible for you. You might not even want to train that often. Success isn’t measured by gym sessions, total weight lifted, or data on your fitness tracker.
Define your own health and fitness success. If it improves your quality of life, boosts your health, and makes you happier, then it can be called a success!
Make this the year you say no to big, drastic, unsustainable changes and yes to micro-habits which build to something spectacular by December 2019.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicola Joyce has been writing for (and about) sport, fitness, nutrition and healthy living since 2004. She’s also a keen sportswoman: her background is in endurance sport but she now competes as a natural bodybuilder, most recently winning a world title with the INBF. When she’s not writing content, she can be found blogging. Follow her here www.nicolajoyce.co.uk and on Facebook & Twitter (@thefitwriter) too.