It’s 1st of January 2021…so hold onto your hat and buckle in for what will inevitably be a month of fitness secret reveals and weight loss tricks enlightening you on how to finally “GET THE BIKINI BODY YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED”, “DROP 5 LBS IN JUST 5 DAYS” and “SHED THAT XMAS BELLY”.
But…whilst the notion of quick fixes may be tempting, particularly so in a society obsessed with instant gratification, is it time that we finally stop falling into this dated annual trap perpetuated by the media and diet culture? Let us not forget that it’s the very same media moguls who on December 31st are actively encouraging a laissez-faire, let your hair down and eat that mince pie attitude, are then the very next day pedalling rituals of how to run off that Christmas excess.
Now, let’s get one thing straight…this is not to say that the turn of the New Year doesn’t represent an opportunity to clean the slate so to speak, but the huge pressure and expectation that we will or should become fundamentally different people in 24 hours is profoundly flawed. Maybe it’s time to shift the focus from drastic and so often short-term resolutions and begin to dig a little (or a lot) deeper into what it is that we truly want, and perhaps more importantly, why.
So, this new year, why not try these three steps…
Let’s be honest, 2020 hasn’t exactly been the smoothest of rides, but that’s not to say that it was all doom and gloom. Take some time to reflect on the past year. What were the victories? No matter how small you may perceive them to be, a win is a win and should be celebrated as such.
Watching the ADC family come together for the six-week challenge, encouraging and supporting one another, with a touch of friendly rivalry along the way, demonstrates perfectly how each of you triumphed in the face of adversity. ‘Oh, but it was just 10,000 steps…that’s hardly a victory’ I hear you say. Wrong. 10,000 steps, to use that example, very often represents so much more than just the physical act, and probably something different for each of you. The mental battle, self-discipline, and the act of carrying on even when a Baileys and season 4 of The Crown (insert alternative drink and programme as necessary) is far more tempting, is a huge feat. It is in these smaller habits where great things are borne, so give yourselves a well-deserved pat on the back and a nice dose of credit where it’s due.
- Let’s set goals, not resolutions.
Having reflected on the past year, it’s time to think about what you want for the year ahead. Here, however, I’ll challenge you to set yourself some goals rather than the familiar resolutions. Whilst there is nothing inherently wrong with resolutions, a word that actually derives from a Latin expression meaning ‘to simplify’, it seems that our modern approach to setting these resolutions has taken on a very black and white, all or nothing mentality. The focus too often revolves around what we are going to eliminate from our lives rather than what we can add. If we don’t stick to our too stringent plans, we often use this as proof of failure and give up on the resolution altogether.
This is where goal setting comes into play. Goals provide direction. Goals provide focus. Goals provide actionable steps. Crucially goals allow for a degree of flexibility such that any obstacles that may arise along the journey need not stop us from attaining our goals. Much research has been conducted demonstrating that the world’s best athletes all share one common feature: setting clear and concise goals. Here at ADC, we operate on an ethos of training all of our clients like athletes…so, now it’s time to start thinking and acting like one too.
Whatever your personal goals may be, a powerful way of setting them is to make them SMART.
- S– Specific (or Significant).
- M– Measurable (or Meaningful).
- A– Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
- R– Relevant (or Rewarding).
- T– Time-bound (or Trackable).
See our post on ‘SMART goal setting’ under the Mindset Education tab for more info.
- Identifying your why?
Brilliant, you’ve got a list of your SMART goals, all ready to be stuck to the fridge under your Ibiza 2018 magnet. Job done. Let’s get going…. carpe diem and all that. Well, not just yet. We have one more step which is arguably the most critical of all. Finding your WHY.
It was the German philosopher Nietzsche who said ‘He who has a why can endure any how’; indeed, it is in finding this reason or ‘why’ behind any ‘what’ that will ultimately propel you invincibly towards your goals.
We tend to work backwards when it comes to finding our why. In the fitness industry especially, people often come to us with a clear idea of WHAT it is that they want to achieve. Maybe it’s fat loss for one person or muscle gain for another. Some people want to accelerate their sports performance to the next level, whilst another may want to reap the psychological rewards that exercise provides. Whatever your personal goal may be, it is now time to really ask yourself why do you want this? It is by really digging deep and being honest with yourself about your personal reason and motive for having a certain goal that will ultimately provide you with the momentum to get there. Without this resolve and a solid awareness of your why it is unfortunately very easy to give up when you hit the first hurdle. And let’s be clear that is no failing or weakness in you; it happens to all of us, but it doesn’t need to.
Take some time to ask yourself WHY do you want your personal goal. Write that down. Then ask yourself again…why? And again. And again.
There is a lot to be learnt from a toddler, one of which is their incessant use of ‘but whyyyyyyyy?’, but really and truly they are on to something there. We need to get this deep level connection to our goals, and fundamental understanding of our goals. Once we have this unwavering foundation, we become unstoppable.
*cue Eye of the Tiger* 2021, team ADC are coming for you!