Another year just started. You probably finished 2016 thinking of all the new things you will try, all the good things you are taking from last year that worked well and leave behind those that didn't.
I don't tend to make New Year Resolutions however I definitely take the New Year as an opportunity for a fresh start. But what's the secret of keeping your motivation up for this fresh start longer than 2 weeks?
Well first of all let's talk about the area in our lives that is most likely to be affected by the New Year and around that most of us make the resolution. Get more active! Eat less! Drink less!
Let's see the first element, getting more active. We tend to exaggerate in the New Year meaning that we are so determined to keep our New Year resolution that we start with a 150% meaning that from zero we start going to the gym 3-4 times a week. What happens after a couple of weeks if we do this? Our enthusiasm will drop because we realise that it's too hard and we rather go back to doing nothing because IT'S EASIER! Think about this. Do babies start running straight away from crawling on the floor? NO. There is a reason why we use the word 'Baby steps'. We put something in our head which is usually a perfect picture on how our New Year resolution will work but we cannot make it happen the way we imagined. Of course not. Start with a one day a week gym session or running in the park or anything that you decided to do. Build it up gradually. Embed it into your lifestyle but not by starting with 100 mile/hour but starting it slow. Let your body adapt to the change and progress from there.
As for the second part. Eat less. This can be true but I would add a couple of words. Eat less processed food! Make smart choices when you are doing your weekly shopping and gravitate towards non processed or prepared, pre-packaged food. It requires a bit more planning and preparation to cook for yourself but it's absolutely doable. Just think about what would you like to eat during that week. Which nights are you in, and cook bigger portions so that you can either take the rest with you next day, or freeze it. Base your meals around carbs and always have protein and vegetables with it. There are plenty of blogs, forums, Instagram profiles where you can get an idea about how to cook in a colourful way.
Last but not least ..Dry January. Again, you are giving your body a shock if you stop drinking completely after the Christmas wining and dining! What's the point? Reduce the alcohol yes, but don't cut it. Gradually decrease the drinking opportunities. It doesn't mean that you social life will slowly die out. You can easily have a glass of tonic water when you are in the pub and your personality will equally shine without having that tipsy self confident person chit chatting about the big questions of life. If you need to tell a white lie to your colleagues or friends to push back on the pressure on why you are not drinking just say that there is vodka in it;-)
Hope this post helps you All to make long lasting changes, and of course if you ever need a personal trainer you know where to find me:)
Best wishes and Happy New Year,