Rarely does a health and fitness journey follow a straight line. Usually by about this time in January, the New Years resolutions we all swore we’d stick to, begin to falter and flail
So what makes us falter?
There are many reasons why this happens. Going back to work or your studies, having a disruption to our routines and completely forgetting about why we wanted to change in the first place. Add in a Worldwide pandemic, where life is completely upside down and it becomes even harder to stick to a routine.
It’s only week three of 2021 and already we may find that our work schedules, home schooling, caring for older relatives, etc all throw up challenges for us all.
Whether our new Year’s resolution was to eat healthier, exercise more or just be kinder to each other, a lack of routine can hinder us when we are trying to stick to resolutions. When our schedules are packed full it’s gets harder to remember to fit in exercise, for example, into our schedule. There’s always something else to, right?
This leads to the question: how do we stay on track when we get busy?
Get into the mindset
One of the keys to staying focussed and on track is to keep some balance in your life.
Getting a bit wobbly or questioning our resolution is really typical for this time in January. If we are all achieving our goals, great, but life doesn’t always work like that. Life gets in the way and it’s never plain sailing from day one. We have to allow for blips in the road, that’s life.
If you find yourself wavering then be kind to yourself, regroup and try again.
It feels so easy to give up if you miss one day of exercise, for example, but don’t be disheartened. Tomorrow is another day, a new start so use the new day for just that. Sone people have an all-or-nothing mentality and one blip can make people think that they may as well go back to their old habits. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Use this blip to motivate you do better tomorrow and you’ll be ok.
Motivation is the key
Motivation is a big part of sticking to resolutions and making positive changes to your life. Another factor is the level of commitment we give to those changes. Ask yourself why am I making this change? What are my reasons for making this change? What do I want from this change? These all questions that can point to how we achieve our resolutions or don’t. And the biggest question of all, is can we really commit to incorporating these changes into our lives? We may like to think we can go to the gym every single day but is that possible, is it realistic for the life that we lead?
In life our routines aren’t always perfect, things happen to throw us off course but that doesn’t stop the course still being there at a later date to rejoin or adapt. For example, we may commit to going to the gym (when gyms are open again…) four times a week but time might not allow four visits every week. We might have to adapt and maybe go to the gym twice in one week and exercise from home for the other two times. There are loads of home workouts on You Tube that might not be the same as the gym but they can be a good fill in for some weeks. It’s all about commitment and adapting.
We all start on January 1st strong, making the positive changes, but finding the why? is the key to motivation and that motivation is personal to us all. For some us it could simply be the motivation to get out of bed.
The Fix - Schedule and be flexible
By week three we have had enough time with healthy new habits to look at what’s working and what isn’t working. We can start to tweak and think about how we can adapt and change. It could be that being rigid about something just doesn’t work for you so look for some flexibility, which will still enable you to achieve your overall goal. So, if you’re trying to lose weight and you really want a takeaway on a Friday night, just add in a longer walk on Saturday to balance up the calories.
If you feel yourself having negative thoughts about your goals and resolution then try creating a possibility.
So if you’ve got a tough week and your time poor and you feel that your exercise routine might suffer, think about how you can create a possibility. Really look at your week, schedule out your time and try to find a possibility of creating some spare time to exercise. Most of us can find 30 mins three times a week to keep our exercise routine ticking over. We just have to create the possibility in our minds.
Success or otherwise of a new habit is a result of goal setting, prioritising and scheduling but it’s also having a back-up plan for when life gets in the way, which it will sometimes.
Your resolutions and changes need to fit in with your life, whether that is exercising for two hours a day or 20 minutes day, it’s all about what works for you, but planning can be the key.
Work out what you’re doing each week and treat your resolution like another task in your week, in the same way you’d schedule a work task. Whether that task is exercising, painting, learning a new language, whatever it is, try to schedule some time in your busy week and make a commitment to that task.
Try it for a couple of weeks and you should find that gradually it becomes easier and easier to stick to resolutions. Keep up the motivation and commitment and good luck x