The new year is fast approaching, and it is around this time that we start to think about our goals and resolutions for the coming year. It is the perfect time to turn a new page, end bad habits and establish new routines. However, often, we go too hard too fast or set unattainable goals. Then, when we fail to reach or achieve these things, we tend to feel guilty, frustrated and lose faith in ourselves. But fear not. Here are three lifestyle hacks to help you achieve your fitness, nutrition or wellness related New Year’s resolutions.
1. Be prepared
We’ve all heard the saying failing to prepare is preparing to fail, and it couldn’t be more accurate. For some, planning comes naturally, however for others, it does not, and they prefer to deal with issues as they arise. Preparation helps reduce stress and anxiety that can surface from the unknown and provide you with a step-by-step guide to reach your goals.
Preparation is a big part of reaching your fitness goals. A typical fitness goal set by people is to lift x amount of weight. They may set this goal yet have no idea how to reach it. It may be helpful to engage a fitness professional to write out a program for you or set weekly goals for yourself. Start by adding 2.5kg every 2-4 weeks and record your progress in a diary or on your calendar. Writing this down will help you keep track and optimise readiness for each workout.
In terms of nutrition, preparation is vital. A great way to stay on top of your nutrition goals is meal prep. By prepping your meals, you can keep track of your macros and portion sizes to prevent overindulging. A Sunday spent meal prepping can also help save you time during the week, leaving more time for you to get things done or relax and, therefore, reduce stress levels.
Goals in terms of mental health and wellness could be to have more time to yourself, engage in self-care or practice gratitude. Whatever it is, preparation and planning can help.
Schedule time into your day for things that make you happy. It is all well and good to tell yourself you need self-care; however, it might not happen without physically writing it into your diary. Being prepared for other things in your life can also help your general mental health as it allows for consistency, life balance and peace of mind.
2. Focus on the journey rather than the goal
Commonly, when people set their New Year’s resolutions, they focus on the final goal:
Having a 6-pack
However, these goals can be hard to reach, especially if we don’t acknowledge the required behaviour to achieve them. When we focus on the end result, it tends to be the only thing on our minds, and we forget to enjoy ourselves along the way. This can lead to feelings of disappointment when we don’t accomplish them. Instead, we should incorporate daily behaviours that contribute to the final goal and celebrate the small wins we achieve.
If the goal is to squat a certain weight, we should focus on lifting more weight than we did the week before, and gradually you will achieve the goal. This will lead to a sense of achievement each week when you lift more than the previous, rather than feeling disappointed until the day you reach that goal.
Setting a goal to eat healthier or to lose weight is excellent; however, we need to get more specific. How are you going to eat healthier? Is this by engaging in a calorie deficit or cutting out refined sugar? Getting more specific in the behaviours required to reach our goals is necessary if we want to achieve them.
If your new year's resolution is to improve your happiness and mental wellbeing, it is important to remember it can be a process. Doing things that make you happy daily are more likely to be effective than doing something as a one-off. Incorporating things that make you happy into your daily routine are more likely to contribute to a positive lifestyle that will hopefully be sustainable.
3. Get support
A support system is important in everything that we do. Not only are they a shoulder to cry on when things go wrong but by voicing your goals out loud can help keep you accountable. Family and friends always make a great support system and social media can help too. Starting a fitness, food or wellness page would allow you to put your goals out there and give you a platform whereby you can have an impact on others. Support systems are important for when you want to give up on your goals or just in times that you need that extra push.
In order to achieve your resolutions this coming new year, you need to be prepared, focus on the journey and have a support system around you
These tips can be applied to all facets of life whether that be fitness, nutrition or wellbeing