Happy New Year everyone!

So, have you made a list of New Years Resolutions? – Why? seriously, whats the point?

Have you ever followed through with one single resolution….EVER?  If you answered YES, then I apologise, but lets face it, for most of us mere mortals, having 10 things we must improve in our life over the coming year is a lot of pressure to put on yourself.

After weeks of celebrating and overindulging, you then expect to squeeze yourself into such a tight box of denial and discipline, that by mid January you are ready to explode!

As a Personal Trainer, I advocate clear goals that follow the S.M.A.R.T rules:

S- Specific, M- Measurable, A-Attainable, R-Result orientated and T-Time sensitive.

However, I do think that non-specific goals are better when making that long list of resolutions for the new year, and here’s why……… 

Let me give you a few examples of resolutions made on January 1st:

1) To lose 2 stone – It’s WINTER people! If you think you’re suddenly going to swop beef stew and dumplings for tuna salad from the 31st December then think again.

At least if you keep your resolution to a general ‘Lose Weight’, then you can feel good about yourself by the end of January as all the christmas excesses like sausage rolls, mince pies and cream have already settled around your hips. This means there’s none left in the cupboard. So, even if you do eat beef casserole and dumplings, you won’t be eating christmas pudding and cream afterwards, therefore, you will lose weight without even trying!

Plus it is much better for your body to eat seasonally. A chicken and vegetable casserole with pearl barley is comforting and all those nutrients will stop you craving dessert as your body will have all it needs.

2) Get up at 5am to jog before work – Yeah right! It’s dark, raining and your duvet is tucked up to your chin. Even poking your big toe out from under the covers is enough to make you retreat faster than a weight watcher at a sausage festival.

A better resolution would be ‘To exercise more.’ You could walk to the next bus stop, take the stairs or instead of sending an e-mail to your colleague on the next floor, use those things dangling from your bottom and go speak to him! 

You don’t need to join a gym or run to get fit. Take the kids out on their bikes, walk your neighbours dog if you don’t have one or join friends for a lunchtime walk. All these small adjustments will make you feel healthier and increase your chances of sticking to your new exercise habits.

3) Give up smoking – This is one that can only be achieved if you are in the right frame of mind. You’ll need that determination no matter how much support you have. A  half-arsed attempt to change years of being a smoker and all the habits that go along with it, will only make you feel like a loser when you fail. If you are not 100% committed – you know who you are – then a better resolution might be ‘To cut down’. At least if you have managed to cut down by the end of January, you can feel good as you have achieved your goal, this in turn may give you the inspiration to stop completely.

4) Write 3,000 words a day – Anyone who has attempted the NaNoWriMo will know how tough this is. Unless you are a fulltime writer/novelist, life can get in the way of this resolution. So why not just stick to a general ‘Write more,’ resolution.

Figure out when you could fit in an extra 10/20/30 minutes of writing in your day. I am usually first up on the weekends, and decided that instead of watching telly with my coffee, I would sit and write. Even ten minutes makes a huge difference. I cannot believe how much I can get done in such a short time.

All these non-specific goals will make you feel that you have definitely kept to your resolutions and hopefully put you in the right frame of mind to make SMART goals to keep you on track for the rest of the year.

Whatever you decide needs improving in your life in 2013, the important thing is to love lots, laugh as much as possible, appreciate what you have now and let all the wonderful people in your life know how important they are.

2013…Bring it on! 

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