Unfortunately, what I see time and time again as a new year commences, is not a lack of motivation but quite the contrary. I see people setting unrealistic goals, over committing and doing too much too soon without a stable plan to fall back on. You will see these people every day at the gym for roughly 2-4 weeks and then they completely disappear. What has happened here?
These people have relied on emotion to achieve a goal. In this case the emotion is the motivation of New Year. Motivation is extremely fleeting, like a school kid crush, one minute it’s the most prominent feeling in the world and the next it’s vanished. I will let you know right now that your success will be very short lived if you rely on ‘feeling good’ or motivated to get you to achieve results.
So, what is the difference between the characteristics of those that succeed at their New Years’ Resolutions and those that don’t? Mentioned below are habits that successful people follow.
Set super-ordinate goals alongside subordinate goals - People pursue long-term goals more successfully when they focus on subordinate as well as super-ordinate goals than when they focus on either subordinate or super-ordinate goals alone (Hochli, Brugger, Messner 2018). An example of this would be rather than saying I’m going to ‘get fit’ for 2020. You would write down ‘I will get fit in 2020, and commit to attending the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and attend Park Run on Saturdays.’ Here you have not only made the decision to change but you’ve also planned on what days you can commit to helping you allow for this change.
Set achievable goals that fit into your lifestyle – Let’s use healthy eating here as an example. Many people sign up for programs that include recipes and supplements to help achieve their health goals. Questions you need to ask yourself here is…’Can I see myself continuing this plan after the program has finished?’, ‘Does this new way of eating suit my budget?’ ‘Do these recipes fit into my time schedule?’ If you answer no to any of these questions, then you are setting yourself up for frustration and failure. Marketing companies know that people are more motivated around this time of year and rely on motivation and impulsive behaviour (Robert 2013) to sell quick fix products. Again, take the time to sit down, look at your budget and your time management and plan accordingly. Don’t plan to fail.
Know your weaknesses – Although most people don’t like to admit they have weaknesses, it’s the first step to becoming stronger. For myself, I require routine when it comes to exercise. This involves programming my exercise into my diary for the next day. If I don’t do this, it simply does not happen. A lot of people who don’t enjoy exercise find they need to exercise in the morning. If they leave it to the end of the day, they find that the stress of the day, mental fatigue and hunger kick in. Other people with stressful jobs develop the habit of doing a lap of the block walking as soon as they arrive home to prevent them taking the stress of the day out on the snack cupboard. If boredom is your inhibitor try one of our Basement Fit classes. Whatever your weakness, find it, own it and develop strategies in place to help you grow stronger in that area.
Recruit friends –Who are the people in your life that you can rely on to keep you accountable to your health and fitness goals? Write these people down. Tell them your goals and ask them to help keep you accountable. Don’t be shy to ask, if anything they will probably be excited for you and ask to join. Evidence shows that those that have an exercise buddy are twice as likely to achieve their goals and keep to their goal weight (Dailey 2018). If you find that you are lacking support, we have some fantastic personal trainers at Your World Fitness that can help map out your health and fitness journey and keep you accountable. Enquire at front desk and we can get you in touch with the right trainer for you.
Just Do It - Don’t wait to ‘feel’ motivated. Wake up and feel like crap, embrace the crappy feeling and do what needs to be done regardless. Your workout doesn’t need to be the most spectacular YouTube clip of the century and your meal prep doesn’t need to be the next Pinterest post. You just need to rock up and do something, anything. There’s a reason Nike use the slogan ‘Just Do It!’
Sometimes our health and fitness journey can be more about changing the mind that it can about changing the body!
Happy New Year Your World Fitness team – Don’t forget to keep it real this year!
Author: The YourWorld Nerd -Jennifer Carroll
Dailey, R, Romo, L, Myer, S, Thomas, C, Aggarwal, S, Nordby, K, Johnson, M & Dunn, C 2018, ‘The Buddy Benefit: Increasing the Effectiveness of an Employee-Targeted Weight-Loss Program’, Journal of Health Communication, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 272–280.
Hochli, B, Brugger, A & Messner, C 2018, ‘How Focusing on Superordinate Goals Motivates Broad, Long-Term Goal Pursuit: A Theoretical Perspective.’, Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 9, p. 1879.
Klara, Robert 2013, ‘How much are new year's resolutions worth?(Trending Topics: The latest news from the worlds of tech, print, advertising, marketing and television.)’, ADWEEK, vol. 54, no. 2.