Good morning all.
As 2014 is upon us, I’m sure we are all considering what is going to change for us in the New Year. I have never been a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions, merely for the fact that by their very nature they encourage us to do the opposite of that resolution until the day comes around for the ‘Resolution’. Then, the Resolution itself is usually short-lived, as it’s not set in solid foundations of realism, tangibility, measurability and thus achievability. So the amount of days (or even months) that we’ve put off that new healthy life, because “I’ll get to it in January”, will often actually outweigh the days we stick to the New Year’s Resolution for.
This is why I am a huge believer in the ‘today is one day’ philosophy. Rather than waiting for Monday, or the start of the next month, or in this case year, every day is a new day and every day you have a chance to resolve. So although, it might seem like I am pooping the party here for New Year’s aspirations, I’m actually saying that if you slip – we’re all human after all – all is not lost. Every second that passes, you get a another chance.
I’d like to look today therefore at three ways I believe are very effective in achieving that goal for 2014.
1. The Big Why?
What is your goal? Why is it important to you? There must be a deep down or even secret reason. For example, is the real reason, that you want to look great in a bikini when you go to a friend’s pool party in July (guys, I’d keep that one to yourself, if that’s it for you). Or is the real reason that you are turning 40 years of age and want to look as fit as when you were 30. Write this real reason down and keep it somewhere private. Try to return to it every single day from now on though. Remind yourself what you love the most on a regular basis. Discipline is a word that is over-used. What we have is love. Some people love pizza, beer and fried foods. Some people love feeling healthy, looking lean and ripped. Don’t be one of those people that says, “oh I could do it but I have poor discipline”. Forget that. Just ask yourself what you love the most?
Another good idea would be to probe further the reason that this goal is important to you. Take a pen (actually do take a pen, don’t just imagine it please) and list all of the thoughts and feelings that arise when you envisage your new goal being achieved. Now list all of the fears and worries about not achieving this goal. When you have literally exhausted these, then you either go and try it or live with the fear and never find out how it will feel.
2. Take Action
Rather than talking about it, do something about it. If you want to lose fat, build muscle, improve your cardiovascular endurance, you have to get active and you have to prepare your food in advance (it won’t magic itself on to your plate, as much as we’d love it to). On the last point, be realistic. How many times have we all launched in to a ‘new way of eating’ and then 1 week later, we have numerous vegetable items rotting in the basket or fridge. Buy things that are easy to cook to start with. Buy things you know how to cook. A cabbage looks great in the basket, but you’ve got to get it on to the plate in edible format. Spinach is edible immediately. Conquer the exercise and the new programme before going crazy with the cooking. One thing at a time. Also, start preparing your food the night before. It might not be ideal and it might be the last thing you want to do before bed, but it has to happen if you are to be in with a chance of eating consistently well the next day. Some people say to me, yes but I have no time to prepare food. I have time (moreover, find time) guys and I work from 4am until 9pm most days of the week. It goes back to what we love the most? Sleep, tv, or a fit, healthy body.
If training is your big problem, then hire a trainer, so you have someone to push you and be accountable to. This way, you can talk through your goals together and know where it’s going on regular basis. A quality Bootcamp will do this also 🙂
3. View Everything as a Positive
Getting in shape requires discipline (I know, I said it). It requires toughing out the hard times. It requires going shopping sometimes when you’re hungry and you have to ride the cravings. No-one, myself very much included, says it is easy. I sometimes say to new clients, that as much as they’d like to hear it, I am not here to make things easy, but I am here to make things possible.
So when your family and friends are heckling you for staying in when they are going out to a bar, or they’re heckling you for drinking water, when they are on the champagne, don’t let it bring you down. View these things as positive. Your night is not lonely for not going out, it is fulfilling, you’re achieving your dream. You’re not sad for not drinking, you’re not more boring as a result. You are achieving your dream and your body is thanking you for it. These are good ways to spend your night in my opinion. After all, if the heckling is too much, then it often says everything about that person, rather than you.
Now if you have a minute today to sit down and just think these things over one more time…
– Why are you doing it, what’s it all for, what’s the big prize at the end and how much do you want it?
– Take actionable steps. Call your personal trainer, book on to a Bootcamp, go food shopping, pre-prep your food for the next day or two. Get moving.
– Every cloud has a silver lining. Frame everything as a positive. Others might tell you otherwise, but you know differently.
May I take this moment to wish you all a very Happy New Year and good luck for all your endeavours of 2014. Remember, as great, good or even bad as your year has been in 2013, there are far better things ahead than everything we left behind. Love every minute!
p.s., please fell free to share this article with someone you feel may benefit from this advice. I always love a share 🙂