Updated: Apr 17, 2020
Chris Hitchins Physiotherapist and Exercise Scientist at Forge West End
According to a YouGov Poll, the top 2 New Years Resolutions for 2018 will be to ‘Eat Healthier’ and ‘Exercise more’. But we didn’t need a poll to tell us that. Come January 1, we see the local gyms turn from eerily quiet, into a bustling hive of enthusiasm, full of people eager to make good on their new year’s resolutions. Yet almost inevitably, the buzz settles, and the gyms return to normal as many give up on their resolutions.
There’s a range of reasons why people give up; from ill-defined goals, over-doing it at the start, external factors or simply a lack of motivation.
To combat this, I have listed my six steps to success for your New Year’s Resolution.
1. Set Goals.
This is something many have heard repeatedly, but it never loses value. Set SMART goals.
S - Specific. A clearly defined goal.
M - Measurable. Make sure that you can measure your progress, this keeps motivation up!
A - Achievable. Start small. Early success forms strong a driver to continue.
R - Realistic. Again, start small, and gradually progress.
T – Time-Frame. Consider both short- and long-term goals!
Now consider what steps you will need to achieve these goals.
2. Sustainable Actions.
A common mistake many people make in the new year is rushing out and jumping straight into training or diet. We call this the ‘BOOM’. What happens next is a setback; an injury from training, difficulty adhering to the diet, something external which takes away the time that was dedicated to training. And instead of adjusting training or diet to suit, often it is simply ceased. We call this the ‘BUST’.
The key to success with almost anything is consistency. So, avoid the boom-bust cycle, by progressing gradually.
Incorporate rest, or a ‘cheat day/meals’ into your plan. This comes down to setting realistic goals with realistic expectations.
3. Seek Help.
Okay, so it’s easy to say, “don’t overdo it”. But what can you do? How much is too much? Starting something new is daunting and looking for help online can raise as many questions as answers. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Friends and family are a great place to start, and your health care professionals are always here to help too. GP’s, Dietitians, Exercise Physiologists, and Physiotherapists are more than happy to help you start this journey and give you guidance. We take into consideration your health, current diet, training status, goals, and preferences to help you come up with something that will work for you.
4. Expect Setbacks.
No matter how well you plan, and how close you stick to the plan, sometimes life just gets in the way. But that’s okay. The journey to success isn’t all smooth sailing, there’s ups, downs and plateaus. But remember the key to success: consistency. Stick at it, re-evaluate and plan as you go. You will achieve your goals.
5. Share your journey.
You don’t have to do this alone. Join or form a group of like-minded people, work together to inspire and encourage one another. Share your journey on social media, tell your family and friends your goals. They can help you be accountable.
Last, but certainly not least: don’t forget to enjoy it. Do what you love, try new things. Not everything will work for you, don’t be afraid to admit you aren’t enjoying it.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, rather a few of my top tips. Every goal and every circumstance are unique. So, see if you can apply this to your own resolutions, and see what you come up with. Think about some of the barriers you may face and how you can address them.
If you have a goal you want me to check out, send me a message on Instagram or contact me via the details below and I will be more than happy to offer some advice.
Chris Hitchins is a Physiotherapist and Exercise Scientist with an interest in rehabilitating sporting injuries and maximising recovery post-stroke. He also enjoys exercise prescription and advice for general health populations. Chris likes to work with his clients to come up with strategies to reach goals safely, efficiently and enjoyably.
If you would like to know more about Chris’s work you can contact him through Forge West End on 3844 0686, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or through his Instagram chris.hitchins_physio.