Its hard to believe yet another year is drawing to a close and amidst all the celebrations, many of us will be thinking about our New Year's Resolutions. If you are anything like me, you start off with the best of intentions but usually, these somehow get lost along the way after the holiday period ends and the reality of the everyday working life sets in. Come mid-year, most people have completely forgotten about New Year altogether and any resolutions they may have made are a dim memory.
For this reason, I prefer to set written goals as opposed to making resolutions and based on past experience this really method produces results.
Find somewhere quiet where you can reflect on how you feel about your health and fitness during this previous year and ask yourself some questions. Be as honest as you can with yourself in your responses. Am I happy with where I am physically and mentally? Am I dealing with any pain or discomfort that I have been tolerating or ignoring? Am I sitting for too long during a typical day and not moving enough?
Am I eating on the run and leaving myself low on nutrients?
Am I drinking enough water?
Where do I want to be this time next year in terms of health and fitness?
Where do I want to be 5 years from now? Am I working in that direction?
Choose 3 goals that seem the most compelling for you to start with then write them down and place them where you can see them. The act of writing them down makes you accountable and gives you a gentle reminder to keep the focus! Add a picture too, if you are a visual person, anything that will help keep you motivated.
Make the goals specific, for example
1. Find a long-term solution for my lower back pain so I'm not reliant on painkillers.
2. Eat more fruit and vegetables and include them at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
3. Go on a walk outside for 20 mins in nature such as a park during my lunch break.
Set a time limit to achieve each goal.
Breaking Down Goals Into Actions
Then break down each goal into actions needed to achieve the goal. If you think of these actions as breaking down the goal into bite-size pieces, and each piece contributes to achieving the overall goal.
For example for Goal 1 listed above Pilates can be enormously beneficial for improving lower back pain and working towards being pain-free.
Action 1 - Go to the GP and have your back checked and receive a specific diagnosis. If your doctor agrees a Pilates program to develop core stability and strengthening your back muscles and glutes would benefit you, then Action 2 could be to research Pilates classes and then select a program that you think would help you achieve your goal.
Action 3 - began Pilates and incorporate the exercises into a routine several times per week. Monitor your progress until you achieve your goal.
Plan actions for each of your goals and don't be afraid to add new goals or vary the original goals along the way. As long as you maintain the overall objective of improving your long-term health and fitness, any goals that contribute to this will benefit you. Don't be limited by the New Year either, set new goals whenever you feel it is necessary. Joseph Pilates said:
"Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor"
Taking control of your own health and fitness does take time and effort but once achieved, really is a rewarding and empowering feeling.
May 2019 be your healthiest and happiest year yet!
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