Use January to Start Out, Not Burn Out
By January 10th you’d done 10 workouts, one every day… February wasn’t quite as active and in March you only managed two sessions… April you were on holiday and in May you didn’t make it to the gym at all…
The ‘straight to fifth gear’ approach rarely lasts the pace. Engraining healthy habits and practices takes consistent effort over a long period of time. So, use January for what January is good for…
Making exercise and nutrition a part of your lifestyle is a long term process. Use January to gather the momentum that is going to help you make consistent progress all year.
To gather momentum, start out with small changes that are easy to integrate in to your lifestyle, these small changes will become daily habits that will help facilitate the achievement of your goals.
Write it Down
Seeing your goal in writing each day can help you make choices that align with the goal. Some people pin their goal up on a wall, fridge or office board, some get a daily notification on their phone and some have it written on a notepad by their bedside. Do whatever suits your lifestyle best and helps keep you on track.
Don’t Forget Your Nutrition
Nutrition is a key component of all health and fitness goals. Start with the basics that make the biggest difference:
- Eat plenty whole foods with a focus on protein, vegetables and fruits
- Drink lots of water
- Cut out refined sugar
Compare Yourself with Yourself
This is absolutely crucial to long term success; no-one else is leading your life, thus the only person worth comparing yourself to, is you. Other people’s success stories, physiques and approaches can be helpful to motivate and inspire you to achieve your own goals, but avoid comparing your progress or perceived success with others.
Find Enjoyment in the Process
Finding an exercise and nutrition program that you enjoy will help you stay motivated and make it much easier to incorporate in to your lifestyle. Exercise doesn’t need to be gym based or involve lifting weights, it could be hill walking, jiu-jitsu, cycling, sword-fighting or running with the dog; you’re much more likely to stick to an exercise program if it stimulates both your muscles and mind.
A slow and steady approach to health and fitness – particularly if you are starting at square one – is much more likely to lead to long-term results. Consistency will always beat bursts of motivation over the long haul. Use January to build momentum and start engraining the daily practices that will help you achieve your long-term goal.