Vow to make your last New Year’s healthy resolution!
New Year’s resolutions are starting to become a little bit annoying – let’s be honest.
The sentiment behind them is absolutely honourable and vows to quit our bad health habits, lose weight and get fit are undoubtedly the best things we can do.
But how many of us actually stick to them?
According to a 2017 YouGov poll one in five of us had already started to slip just six days in!
By 2019 just 22% of Brits questioned by YouGov were making New Year’s resolutions with 62% saying they weren’t making any at all.
Women were more likely to with 24% saying they were promising to make lifestyle changes compared to 19% of men.
So it seems we’re losing the will to have willpower when a new year dawns, which seems a shame when those changes would have such positive health benefits.
The problem appears to be rooted in the goals we set ourselves; they’re either too vague or they’re unrealistic.
A couple of setbacks and we tend to throw in the towel.
So, to really make a difference a change in attitude is needed, says Active Tameside’s fitness instructor and health and fitness guru, Matthew Wilkinson.
“Health and fitness New Year’s resolutions have started to get a bad reputation because they have a notoriously low success rate,” says Matt.
“In general, people’s new year’s resolutions are too vague when it comes to their health and fitness.
“Simply, ‘getting a bit fitter and losing some weight’ isn’t very specific.
“Going to the gym for two weeks will make you a little bit fitter and perhaps make you lose a couple pounds, but is that what you wanted to achieve?”
So this is where we turn the New Year thing on its head.
Don’t just look to the weeks ahead, advises Matt, focus on the whole of 2020 to make smaller, more manageable changes which will stay with you for life.
Here’s Matt’s advice to taking the first steps to a ‘new you’ forever:
- Break the year up into quarters and take it one section at a time.
For example your monthly break down could look like this:
- January/February/March – Go to the gym three times a week and limit yourself to one night a week drinking – specific weight loss or goals should mean nothing here, set a habit instead.
- April/May/June – By now you should be nearing the half way point of your weight loss target. Your goal now is to ensure you have reached this target or better by the end of this section.
- July/August/September – This is a good time to set a mini goal, perhaps in something you have gravitated towards in your first six months. If you have taken to running you could make it your goal in this section of the year to do a 5k in a certain time. This will give you accountability to keep exercising and allow you to have some mental time away from the long-term goal you set for the year.
- October/November/December: Finish what you started and keep going, fuelled by the motivation of your amazing achievements so far
Matt’s final words of wisdom:
“Remember, goals are great to keep you focused in the short term, but you need to realise ultimately, there is no end goal.
“Leading a fit and healthy life should be something you do as habit like brushing your teeth or having a shower (hopefully!)”
“So make this the last time you start a New Year’s resolution to be fit and healthy – because next year, it’ll be a habit set in stone – once you achieve that, the rest is easy.”