Top tips for goal setting for the New Year

Tilly Kyle at the Better Body Group in Sevenoaks continues their features with Sevenoaks Sports magazine this month. Tilly asks if you have really thought about your resolutions and sets out a plan for you.

Hand pressing a 2018 start button. Concept of new year, two thousand eighteen. Composite between a photography and a 3D background. Horizontal image

Combine New Year’s resolutions with the amount of food you have consumed over the festive period, and like most people you are probably setting your new year fitness/weight loss related goals sky high.

Now, while it’s a great idea to goal-set there are some important things to keep in mind when deciding what these should be:

Be Realistic

Choosing to shed those extra pounds is a great idea for both your physical and mental health, but it’s important to set your weight loss goal at an achievable level. If you weigh 70kg, then losing 20kg will not only be incredibly hard, and unhealthy for you but it will also be very demoralising if you fail to hit target. Not great in the long run.

Ask yourself why that goal is important to you
There are 2 types of motivation: Intrinsic and Extrinsic. The first is fuelled by your own desire to achieve something and the other is fuelled by what others want or expect you to achieve.
Whilst it’s hard to say which is more effective, it’s important that what you are looking to achieve is something you actually want to do, otherwise you may find yourself struggling to stay on track.

Seek good advice

Going all-in, starting radical diets, dropping calories or fasting without knowing the ins and outs will mean that within a short time, you will be struggling to stick to your goals. Drastically cutting calories or restricting entire food groups can leave you feeling tired, with little energy, meaning exercise will feel a lot harder.
Find a Nutritionist and exercise specialist who can provide you with a nutrition and exercise plan tailored to your needs. Most fitness bloggers are not a reliable source of advice.

Be accountable

Consider asking a friend or your partner, with similar goals to yours, to join your New Year’s regime. Joint training sessions and diet plans are great ways of staying on track. Consider investing in a Personal Trainer, the financial and time commitment will ensure you actually turn up to your sessions without finding an excuse.

Set small targets and reward yourself once you reach it

Set goals in the short term as well as in the long term. Depending on the goal, you could consider setting a smaller target on a 6-weekly basis. This will help keep motivation high and help track the progress of your hard work.

Treat yourself once you hit that goal and remember, this doesn’t always need to be food related. What about that new top you wanted or that deep tissue massage that you deserve after all your hard work and effort?

Enjoy it

Dieting can be hard at times, but it definitely shouldn’t be miserable. The same goes for exercise, if you’ve stuck it out and find you still aren’t enjoying it, mix it up, try something new and try again. Consider taking up another type of sport/exercise or join one of the many clubs in your area.

Recognise that you will probably slip up – but we are only human

You’ll have good days and bad and sometimes you will feel like giving up, eat that bit of cake or have an extra glass of wine but that doesn’t mean that all is lost.
Ask yourself: was it worth it?

If so, enjoy it and get back on it the following day. If not, let it go and learn for next time. Just remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Essentially if you set yourself SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound) you will be able to successfully equip yourself with all the tools, both those physical and mental to reach your goals. Here’s to a great 2018!

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