New Year Resolutions: setting achievable goals

New Year Resolutions

It’s that time of year again when people set New Year Resolutions to work towards the following year. The most common New Year Resolutions are to lose weight, get fit, drink less alcohol and stop smoking.

We’ll often say to ourselves ‘I will get fit this year’ or ‘I will cut out alcohol in January’, however the resolutions do not tend to last very long, in fact, research shows that only 8% of people who made a New Year’s resolution achieve their goal.

So why do New Year Resolutions fail?

For the first two or three weeks in January we are focused, we are determined, we failed with last year’s resolution so this year we must stick to it! Towards the end of the month the focus and determination tends to wear off, perhaps boredom of doing the same gym routine 3 days a week, or eating the same food everyday?

The most common reason for failing a New Year’s Resolution is that people don’t see results straight away, they think they will never achieve their goal or it will take too long so they give up. Even though you don’t see results straight away, consistency is key to achieving a goal – keep going!

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Setting Goals

Goals are a great way of staying on track and helping to get to where you want to be. I have set goals since the beginning of my weight loss journey and it has helped me to lose and maintain 6 and a half stone (40kg). I have found it useful to set a long term goal to work to achieve throughout the year, for example a weight loss target I wanted to achieve by the end of the year. Personally, I like to have 2 or 3 bigger goals and I also set 3 to 5 smaller goals each month – this helps me to stay focused and progress while working to achieve my overall goal.

I recommend using SMART objectives to set your goals. These objectives are frequently used by managers to achieve their business goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time.

Applying SMART to weight loss

  • Specific – ‘I want to lose 2 stone”
  • Measurable – ‘I’ll weigh myself weekly’ or ‘I’ll measure how my clothes feel’
  • Achievable – “I will eat healthy and go to the gym 3 times a week’
  • Realistic – “Am I willing to work towards this goal?”
  • Time – “Is there a time limit for me to achieve this goal?” or “When do I want to have achieved this goal by?”

 

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Tips for sticking to your goals

  • Write down your goals – seeing your goals written down your own handwriting can dramatically increase the likelihood of achieving your goals
  • Set smaller goals too – monthly goals will help to keep you on track while you work towards your overall goal
  • Remind yourself of your progress – working towards a big goal means that it could be a while before you start to see results, remind yourself of how well you have done and stay motivated (see my motivation blog for ideas on staying motivated)
  • Stay focused – remind yourself why you set the goal and why you want to achieve it
  • Enjoy working towards your goal – enjoying your journey and seeing/feeling progress and will make it so much easier to achieve long term!

Follow me on Instagram for more weight loss pictures, workout videos and healthy recipes! @healthyfit_chloe or click here

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12 Week Transformation Programme – My Experience So Far

Why Personal Training?

Throughout my journey of losing weight, I have really enjoyed exercising and getting fitter. I have exercised since the start of my healthy lifestyle (May 2015) and combined with a healthy diet I lost 5 stone between May 2015 and March 2016. By September 2016 I had lost a further 6lb by maintaining my healthy diet and continuing to exercise, I did all of this on my own without following any specific plans or having any guidance.

I reached a point where I had achieved all that I could on my own and I needed a new challenge, something different to push me further than I could push myself and I thought personal training would be that challenge. I had seen an advert on Facebook for Dan Lambert’s Fitness in Nuneaton and after several weeks of thinking about it, I decided to contact him about personal training to find out more. He booked me in for a trial session with Sophie and we had a consultation about my goals and what I wanted from personal training and then she introduced me to one of her leg sessions (which I felt for the next couple of days!).

One of my personal milestones to keep working towards this year was my Graduation Ceremony (November 24th). When I started my training with Sophie, my Graduation was 11 weeks away so I decided that the 12 Week Transformation Programme would be most suited to me and would lead up to my graduation nicely, this programme included 24 personal training sessions as well as additional fitness and nutritional support.

My experience so far…

As a beginner to personal training, the idea scared me initially as it was unlike anything I had done before. After only several weeks I could see a noticeable difference in my body shape and now at the half way stage, the results are even more noticeable. It’s amazing how much can change in 6 weeks, not just physical changes but mental changes as well. Our minds can often hold us back, if we tell ourselves we cannot do something, we’re not likely to try out of fear of failing, however if we tell ourselves that we can do it – we’re much more likely to succeed!

After almost 7 weeks of training I have lost a further 8lb and my fitness and strength has increased significantly. What I enjoy most about personal training is the self confidence it has given me. Many of the workouts I have done with Sophie, I would not have tried on my own because of the assumption that I would not be able to do it. Training with Sophie has helped me to overcome the things I previously thought I couldn’t do which has enabled me to take the next step to reach my long term fitness goals and I look forward to every session (even Sophie’s leg sessions!).

The personal training has also helped with creating my own training plan in the gym, I am so much more confident with what I need to do to get the most out of my workout due to what I have learned from Sophie over the last 6 weeks and I am now able to push myself even when I am training on my own.

 

Food plan…

In the lead up to my graduation I have been following an 8 week food plan set by Sophie. All of the meals I have had are so tasty and filling (and super easy to make which is great for a busy lifestyle), this has shown me that healthy eating is NOT boring!

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The next few weeks…

I am so excited for the next few weeks as I approach the final weeks of the 12 Week Transformation Plan. I’m really looking forward to my graduation in 4 weeks time (and hopefully fitting into my small dress!). I’m also really excited to see the comparison photos and compare the measurements I took at the start of the process.

For anyone who has thought about trying personal training to support reaching your goals, whether they are weight loss, strength or fitness related – I would fully recommend it! I have had such an amazing experience with Sophie from Dan Lambert’s Fitness; all of the trainers are extremely focused to get the most out of their clients, I feel like the whole process has inspired and pushed me to reach my weight loss and fitness goals.

Follow me on Instagram for more food and workout pictures and videos @chloe.longstaff

Find out more about Dan Lambert’s Fitness and the team here