How to set realistic goals and stick to them.

New Year New Me… How many times have you said this to yourself? How many times have you set out to change/better your health and fitness and how many of you actually stuck to it?

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of the New Year New Me saga. Most people always have the good intentions on wanting to better their health and fitness going into the new year, but like so many of us it can be hard to stick to if you don’t plan or prepare.

First thing first, sit down and write what your goals are that you would like to achieve. This could be anything from losing weight, toning, building muscle and or learning a martial arts. Whatever it may be putting pen to paper will help remind you what it is exactly you want to achieve. When we talk about realistic, we mean by what is achievable. For example, if you are someone who wants to lose weight, you would write down your ideal goal weight and the steps to getting that result. If you are wanting to lose 8kgs in 12-16 weeks, that is very much doable. You can aim to lose between half a kilo and a kilo for each week, give or take. Remember it’s a process, not a quick fix.

Next you would write down your training and meal plan for the week, Monday morning go for a brisk walk. If this is your first time starting out, you can start off with a 20-minute walk and increase 5 minutes each week. If you have a gym membership look at what classes they have available and implement that into your weekly workouts. By attending classes as well you will be surrounded by other people who will have the same intentions, this can be a massive help if you are struggling with some motivation but not only this,  this is also a great way to meet new people and train with a buddy.

One of the reasons people tend to fail their new year’s resolutions is they think they have to work out 6 days a week killing themselves all the while not eating much food. To lose weight you want to be in a calorie deficit yes, an average deficit is around 300-400 calories less to what would be your normal maintenance calorie intake. Most people do not know that it is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise that you need in order to lose weight. If you are not sure about what you should eat you can speak to a trainer at your gym and or see a qualified nutritionist. It is important to understand what foods are good for you and when you should have them. You don’t have to just eat salad and drink water in order to reach your goal, you would be surprise to what you can have and still lose weight.

Another reason we tend to fail our new year’s resolutions is when it comes to the weekend it’s what we like to call ‘social time’! How many of you go out and have a few drinks and the next day eat some greasy food to help with the hangover? If you are someone who enjoys going out with your friends, you can still enjoy yourself without going overboard. Research what is a good alternative to have when going out with friends. For example, if you like to have vodka and lemonade instead try having a vodka and soda with lime. Instead of ordering the unhealthiest food on the menu look for a healthier option or you can treat yourself to a as they say ‘cheat’ meal. Note that it is ONE meal, having a cheat meal does not mean the whole weekend. Now, the weekend is over and like most of us you would start to feel guilty of having that cheat meal or perhaps the whole weekend. Know it’s perfectly ok to have that one cheat meal but now that it’s done, get back on the band wagon and get back to business. Don’t spend so much time beating yourself up over it, prepare your meals/training for the week and move forward.

Have your written goals hanging up somewhere too, that way each day you will visually see and remind yourself of them and not to give up. Ladies, if you have a piece of clothing that you wish to fit back into try hanging that piece of clothing up somewhere where you can also see it, this will also help motivate you to keep on track with your new goals.

Remember, take one small step every day. You won’t see the results over night however keep chipping away and before you know it you would have reached your goal!

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