Set up for Success : How to make your New Year goals achievable

2016 has struck and it’s safe to say it's brought with it an influx of New Year’s resolutions, from lose 3lbs to run a marathon; however large or small your fitness goal may be, if it’s S.M.A.R.T, it’s sure to succeed.

How to make your New Year goals achievable

As a Personal Trainer I’m used to hearing “I want to lose weight”, “ feel fitter” or “eat healthily” with every January that passes. Whilst all these are fantastic New Year’s resolutions, we need to dig a little deeper into what we are truly aiming for to guarantee New Year’s 2016 is nailed. To do this we’ve got to make our resolutions S.M.A.R.T.

So what is a S.M.A.R.T goal ?

To make a goal S.M.A.R.T we break it down until we know exactly what it is we want. This way we can plan specifically what needs to be done to smash our target, because we all know ‘planning and preparation prevents a poor performance’, which leads to the first letter of our acronym :

S is for Specific

This is where we take our goal and extract precisely what it’s aiming for.

For example what started as: “ I want to lose weight” might become “I want to lose 5kg”, “feel fitter” might evolve into “I want to be able to run 5K in under 30 minutes” and “eat healthier” into “I’m going to eat 5 portions of green leafy vegetables daily”.

Thinking about what motivated you to create your goal will help develop its specificity.

M is for Measurable

What would be the point of creating a goal if we couldn’t decide whether we’ve smashed it or not?

In order to make a goal measurable, we need to link it to a numerical target, for example: “ I want to lose 5kg in 5 weeks”. This way we have a clean cut answer as to whether we’ve failed or hit target.

Making your goal clearly measurable makes certain you can stay on track and of course most importantly, celebrate your success once you’ve hit it!

A is for Achievable

Stay motivated by keeping your goals realistic. Gradually increase the intensity of your targets so that they are always within reach. Think more running 10K in under an hour, less replacing Usain Bolt in Rio 2016.

Achieving your goal will give you the confidence boost ready to smash the next one too!

R is for Relevant

Put simply it’s you vs you.

The only person who can make sure you succeed is you, so make sure your goal is relevant to you and your life, rather than the latest fitness trend or celebrity endorsed workout.

T is for Time

Whilst it may be true that ‘good things come to those who wait’ ; it’s important to put a deadline on your resolution. This gives you a clear target to work towards and will keep you firmly on track.

If your New Year's resolution is S.M.A.R.T it will be clear, precise and planned to perfection . All you need now is focus, determination and the confidence to know you can and will achieve it.

Good luck and get started…... the clock's ticking !

New Year, New Challenge, New You

Happy New Year!

We have all over-indulged over the festive period, and we allowed too. The start of a new year is always the time to make promises and resolutions about everything we want to achieve. However these, most often, just fall to the wayside as old habits slip back.

The trick is knowing that you are falling back into your old life, when you really want to keep on track, so here are our top tips on how to keep it going after the shine has worn off.

1) Keep going! - Keeping track of your progress is a great way to see how far you have come. On day one, you exhausted yourself, but by day 14 everything was just that much easier. You have worked so hard to get to here, don't let that all slip away now!

2) Make it habit - There is no point in starting healthy eating, only to end up having processed foods four weeks later. Make the choice to keep healthy eating as normal, and takeaways as treats. Think of meals the whole family can enjoy together.

3) Change your rewards - We all think we deserve treats when we work hard. So instead of cake after the gym, why not book a spa or a haircut or a hot shave? Rethink what you need as a treat and work it to your advantage. 

4) Beware the plateau - Prepare yourself for marvellous results, but then be aware of the plateau that will follow. This is not the time to stop, it is just a sign that you are doing it right. Your body is just adapting and it will soon start to lose weight again, just keep going.

5) Do it in the morning - Exercising first thing has some great benefits. Firstly, it is difficult to talk yourself out of it, just get up and go. Secondly, it doesn't have to be too hard. A quick 20 minutes is enough to help you burn fat. And thirdly, you will feel energised for the rest of the day.

Staying healthy and active is the key. You will look and feel better by setting and achieving goals. Look ahead into the year and plan some sporting events for yourself, whether it is a running sportive or cycling for charity. Having a goal for mid year will ensure you keep working in the coming months. Make those resolutions life goals and your body will be happier this coming year.