So, another year draws to a close once again. Where does the time go? 2022, just like the years before it, has not been without its trials and tribulations. But on the flip side, we have all shared some fantastic moments too! It’s all about that yin and yang, right? We embrace 2023’s arrival with open arms – January is the time to reflect on ourselves, and for most, we start this period by making new year’s resolutions. Not to throw out the cliché here, but the new year, new me vibe comes to mind.
December is the time to indulge - in way too much Christmas food may we add, and once the 1st of January comes around, it's common to want to 'start fresh' and abide by a new list of rules. That might be to make healthy habits and stick to a clean eating diet, try out going vegan (The Health Protein blend can help here), or to apply for a gym membership and throw yourself headfirst into daily workout sessions (go for it).
Whichever your goals, sticking to these can be daunting and overwhelming, and are often over before they even began. Well, fear not, as we at Innermost are bringing some joy and a helping hand on how you can stick to your new year’s resolutions this year. We've got personal trainer Courtney Smalley on hand too to drop some serious wisdom. Let’s turn a new leaf together!
- New habits take time
First and foremost, switching up our usual rituals and adding a new one into the mix is not easy. This means it will not stick straight away. The saying goes…’it takes 21 days to form a habit’ and although that is not directly true, it also suggests that we cannot expect to excel on the 1st day. As human beings, we are all different and therefore take to change in alternating time frames. Interestingly enough, there was a study of 82 participants investigating how long it took to form a habit, and the time it took for these to become automatic ranged from 18 to 254 days. This therefore concludes that we must be persistent when it comes to our new year’s resolutions…instead of sighing and giving up, keep going. It will eventually stick. Trust us.
"You must be patient with yourself and your ability to adapt to a new lifestyle. If you throw yourself in the deep end you may find it incredibly overwhelming, resulting in your new journey not lasting as long as you'd like. What I like to do is creates habits that are maintainable for me. There's no point setting myself a target of 20k steps a day when I know I won't reach that. So I start with a number that is doable, and once consistently hit I will then increase and work towards the next goal. Same with water intake, protein intake and workout sessions completed in a week."
- Make smaller resolutions
Sometimes we become too ambitious with our resolutions and either include a long list of goals that we’ll never get around to completing, or we take on one massive habit that is far too out of our reach to even fathom. Resolutions must be reasonable, for example, saying that you will not eat any carbs throughout the year could be tricky to stick to. We suggest starting with small changes like drinking an extra bottle of water each day and making sure to keep hydrated, switching up your crisps at lunch, and having the time to meal prep so you can enjoy a tasty salad, or participate in an after-work jog with your bestie. Setting yourself smaller goals will be that much easier to conquer in the long run. Pardon the pun.
"Entering a new year can be stressful as it is.The January blues hit and it's back to work... So why put more pressure on yourself with your new year's resolution? A resolution is something that is there to better your quality of life. So why create for yourself huge resolution that is going to give you stress, and in return hinder your quality of life? Make small achievable resolutions, and once that has been hit you can always make another one... slowly ticking off that list!"
- Talk about it
Don’t feel like you have to do this on your own. Telling your friends and family about your new year goals will mean they can support you and cheer you on. Keeping it a secret is not the way to go, there’s something special about being able to show off your accomplishments to your loved ones. What’s more, if you can find a buddy who will do the same resolution as you, well that’s a win-win situation. Everything is always better with a partner by your side as you can motivate each other and pick up spirits when they get low. Or for another way to become more accountable – sharing your resolutions on social media may also help. Here us out here. Making your goals public may actually make you more driven as you want to show everyone that you can achieve them…as well as possibly prove them wrong. Just us over here being smug.
"Get excited about it! You are taking time for yourself to focus on your health, your body and your mindset. Talk to people and share your journey. This will also help increase your accountability as others will now be informed of your fitness journey, and excited to see your results. But this doesn't mean you're doing this journey for them, still do it for you and only YOU. This just means you're holding yourself more accountable by sharing with others."
- Write down your goals and be reflective
Keeping a journal and firstly listing down the goals you want to achieve is the best way to start. Order is key here. A messy brain equals a messy life right, so ensuring you have a place where you can jot down your daily tasks and tick these off as you accomplish them will make you feel more motivated. There’s something mystical about looking over a page that is all ticked off! Journalling is also useful at the end of each month too. As the 30th or 31st hits, it is worth asking yourself:
- What went well over that month and what didn’t go so well?
- What areas can you improve on going forward?
- Are you proud of yourself?
Answering these questions will ensure you know how far you have come and where you can proceed going forward. This makes your resolutions more realistic and obtainable as well as provides a reflection on how far you have come. Always be proud of your achievements no matter how big or small.
"This is something I implement when working towards my fitness and health goals! Writing your goals down is your first step towards actively going out and working for them. You have written it down, which means you WANT IT, and now it's time to WORK FOR IT. You want to be able to tick those goal off one day, so keep them there as a reminder and the day you tick that goal off you will feel unstoppable!"
Why do resolutions fail?
Not to switch to a down note, but as well as knowing pointers on the ways to stick to your new year’s resolutions, it is also beneficial to be mindful of why these fail. I’m sure we have all fallen short in the past, and just haven’t had the passion or motivation to keep to one or all our resolutions. It’s always important to know what you’re up against, so read the following common reasons why these goals may not stick:
- You focus too much on the end goal and not the process
- Your goal doesn’t match your values
- It’s a resolution created based on what someone else or society is telling you to change
- You don’t have a clear plan in place – it’s too vague
- There’s no clear reward each time you complete your resolution
All in all, your resolutions should fall under the SMART acronym:
- Specific – your goal should be clear and precise
- Measurable – it is important to track your process
- Achievable – make sure you outline a habit that is realistic and obtainable
- Relevant – does the goal matter to you? Are you changing your lifestyle for the right reasons?
- Time-bound – the timeline to achieve your resolutions should be reachable. Give yourself enough time to make the alterations
2023 is the year for change, and we hope our tips will push you in the right direction to ensure your new year’s resolutions come to fruition. Start small, and don’t be afraid to get some help along the way…but most of all keep motivated. We would like to take this time to say thank you for all your support in 2022 and wish you all a happy new year. We can take on this new chapter together and become fitter, stronger, and wiser…let’s jump into January with a spring in our step – Veganuary, dry January, you name it…we’ve got this!
To see more from Courtney, check her out on Instagram @keeping.fit.with.courtney and @gigihabibi, and try her 1:1 coaching plan here.