It's that time of year again, where you hear the same old New Year's Resolutions flying about. This year I am going to lose weight, run a marathon, start eating healthier, quit drinking, quit smoking, do more exercise blah blah blah. But don't be one of those people that talks a great game, but when it actually comes down to it, not being prepared or organised enough to carry out your resolution.
Follow these simple steps to get yourself organised for the new year and you will smash through 2017!
1) Set a realistic goal.
The biggest cause of early failure in New Year's Resolutions is unrealistic goal setting. I am not saying you shouldn't aim high but set small, measurable and achievable goals throughout the year. If your goal is to compete in an Ironman for example, and you have never even competed in a sprint triathlon your goal may be a bit of a stretch. Set a goal of completing a sprint triathlon by April for example with a goal to complete an Olympic distance by July and then maybe a half Ironman by the end of the year. Setting smaller and more manageable goals along the way with a bigger aim at the end makes it easier to track your progress and if situations change during the year it's a lot easier to change your goals and feel less dissatisfied.
2) Be Prepared
Preparation prevents piss poor performance. If you are not prepared then you will probably fall at the first hurdle. If your aim is to compete in a triathlon then make sure you have put the correct conditions in place to achieve your goal. Join a gym with a pool, make sure you have a bike and cycling kit as well as some running shoes. All this will ensure you do not fall at the first hurdle. Again if your goal is to get fitter and healthier make sure you have the right food available, plenty of great quality vegetables make sure you have a food plan and a training plan to achieve success.
3) Laser Focus
It's great to be ambitious but setting too many resolutions can be a recipe for disaster. Aim to write down your top 3 resolutions, ideally no more as the more goals you are wanting to achieve the less focus you will have on the others. Try and find your top 3 resolutions or maybe just even 1. But make sure you are focused on achieving that resolution, as mentioned before make sure it is achievable but challenging and you are prepared for it.
4) Set Out a Diary
Keeping a journal or diary can be a great way of documenting your progress and it is also a great way of seeing how far you have come. If you set small goals each month - you can really break down your steps to achieving them.
5) Reward Yourself
Make sure to reward yourself for the goals you achieve. Positive reinforcement is a great way of achieving results as you know there is an intrinsic or extrinsic reward at the end. Obviously you don't want to be treating yourself all the time so maybe set a goal once a month that is a small part of your overall goal but shows you are progressing to achieving your final resolution.
6) Find someone with Similar Goals and Work Together
If you can find a training partner or someone that has the same goals as yourself it will make completing the tasks a lot easier. Ideally finding someone who lives close by and has the same mentality when it comes to achieving the goals is crucial. Make sure there is a common goal. If you don't have any one around who has the same goals then join a club or a group who have similar aims.
7) Make sure your goals will provide a greater benefit at the end
What we mean by this is - If your goal is to lose weight for example make sure you go about it the right way. Don't be sucked into a FAD diet where you will be doing more long term damage than actual benefit. Taking on one of these slim fast diets only makes it harder to keep the weight off and provides the body with no nutritional value needed to thrive. Instead go for a primarily plant based and wholefoods diet where you are filling your body with critical nutrients needed for long term weight loss. On a diet like this you will find it is hard to eat the required calories from great quality vegetable produce. Make sure the goal will leave your life enriched and in a better situation or state than you were in previously.
8) Smash Through January
January can be a tough month. The excitement of Christmas has long gone and all the festive spirit has disappeared as people make their way back to the hustle and bustle of every day life and work. Make sure you don't let it get you down, try to start the year as you mean to go on. If you have a brilliant first month and start smashing your goals early on it gives you that advantage you need if there are any minor set backs to your main resolution. Conquer January and it will make the rest of the year easier.
9) Make a Monetary commitment
We are not saying you should throw a pot of money at whatever your objective is - we are suggesting you make some small financial commitment towards your goals. One study found that people who had a financial incentive to lose weight lost 14 more pounds than those that didn't have such incentives. These cash rewards could be to pay for a new bike or even some new cycling or Triathlon Kit for your upcoming races.
10) Do Not Give up
It is like anything in life. If it were easy anyone would be doing it. Set yourself up for small failures from the start, understand that not each will go to plan and that you will end up having to do a number of detours along the way to get to your overall goal. There are challenges and set backs in everything in life and that is something you are just going to have to deal with. There are certain things that you cannot plan for but do not give up. These tests will only make you stronger and once you overcome them you will come out the other side wiser, tougher and more focused on smashing that goal.
Good luck and we would love to hear what your new years resolutions are for 2017.