January, the month of evaluation and optimism. Amongst the pain of waiting for pay-day, fearing the scales and getting back into our routines, there is that underlying need for change. Research shows that less than 10% of people manage to stick to their New Year resolutions.
There has been a shift I believe from how to lose weight and be skinny, to how to be healthy. My tips are meant to help you reach your own personal goals. That may be more energy, more confidence, a personal goal of abs. There is no set time limit, there is no quick fix. This is only about being healthier and being confident in your own skin.
I want to work out or, every sunday I will meal prep with a workout schedule. The more specific you make your goal, the more easier it will be to follow. It’s all good saying you want to have abs or be healthy, but how are you going to get there? Write down exactly what you will do.
There will always be people who wake up one day, go cold turkey and like a duck to water, blissfully go on as if they never had an issue to begin with. If you are not one of these people (I’m not), do not try to attempt this method. I didn’t put a time limit, only to look for changes each month. The phrase ‘lifestyle’ means a way of life. Permanent. Whatever you do, you have to be able to make sure you can keep it up. Doing something drastic for weeks and then stopping means a lack of progress, which means a lack of change.
Track your progress
The most gratifying: the results. One of the best feelings is noticing that change, knowing all the hard work, effort and dedication has paid off. I decided to embrace the power of selfies. With a photo, you see exactly for yourself, the outcome you have achieved.
You have to know how to achieve something before you can achieve it. Health and fitness is very broad. Everything from toning up, six packs to weight lifting. You may want to cook healthier meals, you may want to cut down on certain foods. There must be an element of understanding or research.
Know your weaknesses
I had to swap daily portions of refined sugar, processed meat, excess carbs, high quantities of dairy; for a diet packed with fruit and veg, complex carbs, low dairy and good sources of proteins and nuts. Patterns started emerging. Chocolate being devoured after work, sugar being bought at work, tiredness leading to processed food. As soon as I realised where I was going wrong, I could start correcting. I packed more nutritious, filling lunches, in fact I ate more at every meal, adding better food choices to make me less likely to crave junk. Find your trigger. Cravings are cravings, yet you can create better choices which will welcome improved patterns.
This point collides with all of the above. Everything you do and decide, you want to stick too. Experiment, find what you can do. Can’t wake up in the morning to exercise? Don’t write that down. Can’t avoid refined sugar all week? Don’t write that down. What worked for me, was to slowly break down what I wanted to change. If I had three chocolate bars in a week, I tried to eat two. As long as you keep on track and work to a goal, you can continue to break it down, until it eventually becomes one big adjustment.
Make it as simple as you possibly can, and then in the words of Nike, “just do it”. Find the motivation, take each day and be prepared to fail. You will have better weeks than others. As long as you go back to the structure you built, the precise plan, you will always be able to bounce back.