So 2018 is finally here! Who knows what the next 365 days will bring? A whole new year ahead, how exciting! Many people will be making resolutions to do things differently this year – and good for them, it’s as good a time to start as any! But it’s often the case that come the second week of January the good intentions have fallen by the wayside and it's back to the start, and we’re feeling bad about having let ourselves down - again. Why does this happen??
Well we’re all creatures of habit in one way or another, whether our habits are good or bad! Our habits form part of our daily routine, and most of us need routine in our lives to function properly - we’ve developed our own little routines over the years. We need predictability so we can plan ahead and know what to expect. And that’s all fine of course – nobody wants to live their lives in chaos!
If you actually look up the definition of “habit” this is what you find:
“a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.”
Change is difficult when it comes to habits! But it’s not impossible. What steps can you take to increase your chances of sticking to those resolutions? Here’s my 6 top tips:
1. Start small!
Don’t try to make too many changes all at once. You may decide that you want to exercise more, lose weight, drink more water, join a gym, give up alcohol, learn to meditate – all in the same week! These are all fantastic ideas but you’d stand a much better chance of success if you take each one at a time and work to establish that habit before moving on to the next one.
Take a couple of weeks to establish one new habit before moving on to the next – set yourself mini targets, perhaps one or two new habits a month and once you’ve nailed those move on to the next ones
If exercising more is one of your aims then find an exercise that you enjoy! I am often asked “what’s the best type of exercise for me?”. My answer is often simply - the best type of exercise for you is one that you enjoy!
I see so many people in the gym on cardio machines that they hate using – pick one that you like and stick to that one, you can always mix it up if you get bored. If you enjoy what you do when you exercise then you’re much more likely to stick to it – and perhaps even look forward to it one day!
3. Frequency of exercise
If you don’t exercise much and suddenly decide you’re going to work out 5 days a week for two hours each day then that’s a pretty steep target you’ve set yourself. Make your targets small but achievable – try including exercise a couple of times a week for 30 mins and build it up from there. Find something that you can easily fit into your routine
We’re all full of excuses of why not to do things! Sometimes the more you think about it the more you come up with excuses – yes there is always something else you could be doing with your time (especially if you’re a busy mum like me!). But your health and well-being is important!
Make some time to take care of yourself, it’s very easy to get bogged down with the housework and laundry – but sometimes a little “me time” can be very beneficial both physically and mentally. There’s a lot to be said for that famous sportswear manufacturers slogan – “Just do it”!
Having someone to be accountable to can be a great motivator to help you stay on track, and a good personal trainer can certainly help you with that. Or you can recruit a friend or family member to support you. You’re less likely to make excuses to someone else than you are to yourself
6. Don’t be too hard on yourself
We’re all human! Sometimes we fail, sometimes life gets in the way and we get sidetracked. That’s all okay! Don’t let one minor setback derail your progress – just get back on track as soon as you can and move on.
I trust these tips can help you improve your health in 2018. Please feel free to comment below with your own ideas, or to contact me for more information on how I can help you achieve your fitness goals in this coming year.
Exercise For Mum's was created by PT mum Susan Flintoff. Susan is a busy working mum of two who specialises in helping other busy mum's fit health and fitness back into their lives, and hopes to inspire them to be the best mum they can be!!