A New Year means, for a lot of people, a fresh start to try and improve themselves to become the person they hope to be. Although, we all have the best intentions and the timing (New Year, new start) couldn’t be better, our acts of promising self-improvement often are kept for only a few weeks… or even days.
Bauke Hanekom, master trainer and owner of The Station gym in Cape Town created some realistic and attainable resolutions for having a good start to your year!
Do NOT make any new year’s resolutions. Seriously, just don’t!
Chances are that in a few weeks you already forgot about them it is better to focus on continuously improving yourself throughout the whole year. Let’s focus on how, this year, you can set yourself up for a year of achievement!
Make it manageable
“Be honest with yourself in terms of your fitness level and capacity,” Bauke suggests. If you haven’t seen the inside of a gym in months, attempting to work out seven days a week is a bit overambitious and probably will dissolve into self-defeating thinking and disappointment.
For most people, changing a lifetime of habits isn’t something that can be done overnight—even if that night is December 31. Rather be realistic with yourself - start small and progress throughout the year in order to get back on track with your fitness goals.
Keep it interesting
If your resolution is to stick to your exercising routine three or four times per week, it’s time to refocus on the joy of working out and take pride in getting fitter. Even for experienced gym goers, sticking to a handful of exercises can get a little dull.
“Commit to trying something new like yoga, cycling, rock climbing, martial arts, team sports, and everything between” says Bauke. The more you view your exercise program as fun, the easier it will be to follow, and the more likely you’ll find something you truly enjoy. Don’t forget to track your progress, as this can help you to stay motivated!
Get a buddy
Working out with a friend allows for a little friendly competition, but most importantly it’ll hold you accountable in sticking to your new year’s resolutions. It's always a little more motivating when you know someone is rooting for you and waiting for you at the gym. So, set up your goals together and get to work!
When people set out to change themselves in the New Year, their habit lists tend to be quite extensive. The problem is, as humans we are naturally resistant to change, which is why in about 3 weeks into the New Year, we’re already overwhelmed and give up.
Bauke added “Instead, do less, and you will do more.” Whether your first task is to get yourself up for the 6:00am classes 3 times a week or you want to add 5 more kgs to your dead press, take it at your own pace, and most likely the rest of your list will fall into place.
You are doing the very best you can, and it's natural to have days where you feel like you've slipped. It's OK. We all fall off the path to our goals from time to time. Do not worry too much about it, but pick up your routine where you left off and go for it!
You’ve got the power to keep those resolutions, put your mind to it and believe in yourself, and 2017 could be your best year yet.