04 Jan How to set health and fitness goals that you’ll be inspired to smash year round
It is true to say that any single one of the 365 days in the year is a great time to set new health and fitness goals, and yet, we choose to make January 1 feel like that it is our only chance! So, if this fresh start has got you feeling motivated, use that inspiration to your advantage and spend January focusing on getting healthy, feeling strong, and starting your year off on the right path.
Now, I don’t have to tell you that there are plenty of reasons to hit the tarmac / gym, or your home practice, now that digital fitness is the name of the game in 2019! The benefits are universal, and regardless of how you squeezing in your sweat sesh into your busy week will help with your brain chemistry and improve your overall health. This will give you more energy, better immunity, and a clearer outlook on what you want to accomplish in the New Year.
Regardless of where you are in terms of experience. Whether you are training to compete in an Ironman or pump some iron for the first time in a while, now is the perfect time to set some new goals for yourself and reach the next level. To help you with your strength and conditioning, I’ve created some mind body cleanse yoga tutorials for you on this blog for the next month that will help to make it happen for you, and keep you in good stead.
In the meanwhile here are some guidelines to put into place to help you achieve your health and fitness goals this month:
Set realistic goals
In order to set achievable goals, you have to take into account your resources (available time, money, access to equipment / other necessary tools) as well as your personal interests and dislikes. Your goals need to be definable, realistic, and important to you—because if they’re not, you won’t be passionate about them, and then realise you’ve signed up to a one-legged race from the beginning. Key is to consider a goal from every angle, so that you set yourself up to succeed. For example, if you’ve always wanted to train for a 10K but hate the freezing cold, you might want to table that goal for the time being, and pick a warmer-weather race to train for instead. That way, when a rainy day happens, you won’t feel defeated and discouraged by not being able to log your miles.
Discover your emotional connection to working out
The idea isn’t to find an emotional connection to the outcome of working out, rather than an emotional connection to working out. Inspiration can come from any outside source, but lasting motivation—or the desire to do something so badly, you’re willing to do whatever it takes—comes from within. If you’re unsure about what specific goals you want to set, spend some time really listening to your emotions and being present. This allows you to identify the things that are important to you.
If you’re looking for a new home practice, don’t forget to check back into this blog for some tutorials this month.
Make a game plan to accomplish your goals
The goal pyramid is the best way to stay on track in your health and fitness. You put your ultimate goal (and the reason behind it) at the top of the pyramid, then break it down into monthly, weekly, and daily challenges. This helps to keep big change from feeling overwhelming. Working backward from your ultimate goal, create a monthly outlook, a weekly list of things that must be accomplished to hit the monthly goal, and the immediate tasks to facilitate the weekly to-do list.
Of course, I recommend some ground rules for reaching said goals: Don’t work out more than six hours a week—unless you’re training for a marathon or an Ironman or doing low-intensity endurance training—and stick to no fewer than four 20-minute sessions a week. If you can’t commit to more than those four, 20-minute sessions and you’re not seeing the results you want, that’s okay. Simply re-adjust your timeframe, make sure that the other aspects of your life are also supporting these goals (proper nutrition and sleep, etc.) and keep your eyes on the prize.
Figure out the logistics to stay consistent
Check back in on your goals at the start of every week this month, and if your plan is achievable given your life logistics, plan out how to carry it through the following 11 months time. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to your health and fitness. It requires looking at your life, your schedule, and working your goals into those logistics. The most important thing, though, is making time for your practice, so you have to schedule them. At the beginning of every week, look at your calendar and quite literally schedule them in just like you would with any other appointment—and make it a priority. If things are really busy, have a game plan that allows you to work out in a way that requires minimal effort.
For more tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle, check out my new book, which is available on Amazon, and all leading bookstores, including Waterstones and Borders.
For your top tips on creating optimal health in the mind and body, read Chris James new book –‘Mind Body Cleanse’ by Chris James (Penguin Vermilion, £14.99). Available from Amazon.
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