Part 1: We looked at why we set them
Part 2: We looked at why they fail
Welcome to Part 3: How to make them stick.
So this is the positive, exciting bit. The part where we feel we're ready to take on the world. Actions, goals, hard work, fresh starts, new kit, all ready and waiting for deployment.
But... before we dive in at the deep end, overdoing it, picking up new injuries then resigning to defeat in a few weeks when the scales haven't moved, let's address some important points which will give us a properly realistic chance of success in 2021...
We need to make sure these are realistic. To give an example I'll use weight loss, as it's an obvious one for this time of year. A deficit of 500 calories per day will typically give you weight loss of approx 1lb per week. That's about 3 months to lose a stone. If you don't know how many calories you're consuming and spending (or more importantly where they're coming from) then this will be tough to qualify but it's roughly right. Therefore don't expect to shed 3 stone in a month, even with properly drastic changes in the kitchen.
Setting realistic expectations with small steps, regular achievements and constant improvement is vital.
You may have heard this a lot and that's because it's important. Make yourself accountable to others. Friends, family, colleagues. Set goals together, support each other, tell each other your results, celebrate your wins together and support each other when one of you is falling behind. Our new App for The 200 Club will encourage you to create teams so you can see each other's points, creating accountability.
Make it fun
Let's face it, it's tough do do stuff we don't enjoy and if it isn't fun we won't enjoy it. Same goes for work. If you enjoy your job you'll work harder and be better at it. Therefore, picking a type of exercise you enjoy is crucial to sticking at it. Even if it's not the perfect type for your goals, start with something you enjoy, do it regularly, keep it fresh and don't get bored. You'll be able to progress to tougher stuff from there.
Find ways to beat your excuses
You will make excuses. It's natural so don't worry or beat yourself up over this. But do find ways answers for those excuses when they come along. "I don't have time".. you do, you need to organise your days better, watch less TV and prioritise exercise. "I can't afford it"... you can. It doesn't cost anything to walk/jog every day. The 200 Club is currently free and when the App is released it will probably cost you about £6 per month. Not a lot is it?
Plan, schedule and strategise
Don't just go for it. Write a schedule. Week to week (nothing long-term). Get a pen and paper and write down how you're going to exercise 5-6 times for the next 7 days. Do it now, don't put it off. Don't over-think it. Keep it simple. Just write down what you'll do, then do it. Tick it off every day (sense of achievement). Do this every week for the first month and I promise you'll feel so motivated at the end of each week you'll look forward to doing it again the following week.
This is crucial and links in with all the above points. It's so important to have goals but they do take a bit of thinking. You need short, medium and long-term goals. Short term goals need to be specific (google SMART goals). To simplify this for the purposes of time, start by setting a goal for each week, as above. From Mon-Sun each week just agree that you will exercise 5-6 days out of 7. You will eat well (no rubbish, alcohol etc). That's it. Simple. Slowly build on it. Do our weekly Lifestyle Challenges. You'll be amazed at your progress.
Ok, so you're good to go. New Year's Resolutions can be great. Don't let people bring you down.. "you'll never do it, it's a waste of time". They can be the perfect ignition for your new and exciting journey to better health and wellbeing. But set your goals and expectations carefully. Make sure you enjoy it, keep it simple. You know what to eat and what to limit. Get some friends and family involved and make it all fit within your lifestyle.
The 200 Club