Updated: Jan 10
New Year’s resolutions and the ice-cold reality of January don’t tend to make for the best of friends. That’s nothing new. But when it comes to setting goals there is still no time quite like the beginning of a new year. The allure of becoming better versions of themselves is enough for plenty of people to make grand plans which, despite even a mountain of motivation, are doomed to fail from day one.
Already struggling to keep up?
You’re not alone. It turns out that many of us are familiar with that recurring realisation our initial enthusiasm alone isn’t going to be enough. Getting started is of course just the first hurdle in a very long race. A recent Strava study showed in fact, that most people will have already given up on their new year’s resolutions by the 12th of January. We must learn how to master the art of turning words into actions. Let’s take a look how.
It's all about the why
Before you set yourself any specific goals make sure you take a few minutes to write down what is actually important to you right now. The more relevant your goals are to your life, the more likely it is that you’ll take them seriously and stick to them when the going gets tough.
Start right where you are
Avoid overwhelming yourself with overly ambitious goals. Base your expectations on where you are right now, not how fit you were five years ago and certainly not how fit your friends are. If, for instance, you didn’t do any exercise whatsoever last year then getting started with short five-minute sessions this year is nothing to be ashamed of.
Patience is king
It can often feel like we’re treading water at the beginning of a new challenge. Real change tends to be slow and frustrating. That’s why it's necessary to take a step back sometimes and acknowledge the progress you've been making, no matter how big or small. Remember that we are in this for the long run and slow motion is better than no motion.
Break it down
Any goal which you set too far in the future runs the risk of becoming irrelevant and demotivating. One of the reasons why challenges like Dry January and Veganuary are so popular is because they only run for a limited amount of time. Breaking down the coming twelve months into smaller chunks makes everything a lot easier to manage and your brain will thank you for it.
One of my main goals for 2020, for instance, is to continue developing FitBrit as a business. I spent much of last year saying the same thing but I failed to make any real progress because I never sat down and considered what would actually be required to reach this goal.
This year I have a clear and concise plan which is built around me performing a handful of core activities on a regular basis. These core activities are the building blocks which will lead me towards my goals. This new blog, incidentally, is one of those blocks. Take a moment to identify about 5-6 building blocks for each of your goals and write them down.
The best boost
There is no better way to give this whole thing a kick-start than by telling people about what you're planning on doing. This may seem somewhat nerve-wracking at first, but what you stand to gain makes it more than worth it. Not only will your goals feel a whole lot more real but you will have also created a support network full of friends and family you can use as accountability partners. You may be surprised at how supportive people can be when they know how much your goals mean to you.
The #everysingleday movement is an online community who have committed to taking steps towards their goals on a daily basis. No matter how big or small. This is a group which illustrates my last point rather well and if you would like to be part of this supportive network then just let me know!
If you know someone who could do with a bit of motivation then please share this post with them. Thank you!