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Why New Years Resolutions are Hard!

New Year, New You is thrown about all over Instagram from December the 26th whilst I am still face first into the stilton and red wine. #NewYearNewYou

I’ve always felt that January is a funny time of year to start a new pattern of behaviour– it’s midwinter in our darkest and shortest days where physiologically our bodies are telling us to hibernate and rest. To suddenly try to put mind over matter and “power through” to get yourself to the gym or lose a few pounds can be a strategy for failure.

I personally think Spring is a good time to start afresh – when the days are lightening, and we begin to feel ready for the new season. In fact, planning to start any resolution in March might allow you a bit more planning time after the rush to prepare for the winter break has died down.

If you do feel like you want to start a new years resolution here are my top tips for actually achieving them and not bailing out by the 2nd January! #newyearsresolution

1. Be Realistic.

It’s too easy to imagine setting the alarm for 6am to get out on that bike when you are rested and relaxed in front of the fire. If you have never wanted to do this before then the likelihood is that your motivation will dip quickly and you will hit the snooze button before you know it! I would suggest adding goals in that work to your strengths and that you have the time for. Look for “dead time” time in your day. For example; between finishing work and picking the children up from an afterschool activity – could you do something for your new goal then?

2. Don’t tell yourself that your life will be different to before.

We can be guilty of thinking life will be quieter, less hectic, I will find the time. The likelihood is – it won’t. Set a goal that fits in with life at its most hectic – this means on quieter weeks you will get some down time or that you may even exceed your own expectations. On the busier weeks you will still achieve your goal and the satisfaction that creates will help motivation be sustained.

3. Know that it’s normal.

Motivation dipping and waning is normal. If you prepare yourself for the demotivated days and tell yourself to be determined, then typically we manage to get through these wanes without losing momentum. I call it “robot mode” if I can walk myself into a gym and start then I’m often surprised by how much I end up doing rather than talking myself out of it when my motivation dips. Or if I prepare my food for lunch and know that’s what I am eating rather than thinking “what do I fancy” then I am much more successful. #robotmode

4. Choose a goal that is fun.

The type of activity you enjoy will be the one you do! It doesn’t matter what is the “perfect” form of exercise or what will get you fit the quickest, or what the perfect macro balance for your body type is. Consistency is key and we know that if you enjoy it you will be more consistent. If you know you have a sweet tooth plan healthy sweet treats in moderation – this means you haven’t “cheated” or “failed” you have adapted and succeeded and if you love swimming but hate running then ditch the trainers and pin that pool timetable to your fridge!

In clinic I see a lot of people – all different shapes and sizes. I also see people who’s bodies aren’t behaving the way they would like. This poem struck me so before the “New Year, New You” posts start, give it a read…

“Today I asked my body what she needed, Which is a big deal Considering my journey of Not Really Asking That Much.

I thought she might need more water. Or protein. Or greens. Or yoga. Or supplements. Or movement.

But as I stood in the shower Reflecting on her stretch marks, Her roundness where I would like flatness, Her softness where I would like firmness, All those conditioned wishes That form a bundle of Never-Quite-Right-Ness, She whispered very gently:

Could you just love me like this?”

I hope you all have some rest during the festive period and have a healthy 2022.


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