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How to Stick to Your New Year 2018 Fitness Goals

Most people have set goals for the new year and most, sadly don’t achieve them. There are a few reasons why most people don’t reach their goals. The two main reasons people don’t stick to their goals and achieve them are: setting unrealistic targets that set you up for failure and a lack of motivation. Sundried ambassador Nick Lower gives us some top tips on how to overcome this and succeed.

I am not suggesting that setting your goals high and having ‘stretch’ goals isn’t a good thing. But I use a slightly different approach that has been much more effective for both myself and my clients. After all, telling yourself that you will lose 24 pounds in 4 months and get a six-pack have only previously led to disappointment, right?

Try this approach to your New Year goals

Think about what it will actually take to achieve your goals. You will probably find you need to do something each day that you’re not currently doing, or you need to do it more consistently. These three things are the key to success... 

1. Commit to one daily behaviour/action. 

2. Track what you do and keep a record. 

3. Give yourself credit for every little thing you do, no matter how small.

Before setting your goals, think about what is really achievable given your previous efforts, your current situation, skills and knowledge you have right now. Don’t be afraid of changing goals either, people and circumstances change, that’s life! Of course, goals need to me ‘SMART’ (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time specific). However, sometimes we can do this and it still doesn’t quite workout - so, have a little flexibility. Negative self-talk and beating yourself up for not quite hitting the mark does no good at all. In fact, you will only make yourself feel like a failure and then give-up.

For goals to be achieved you have to do two things: 1. Break-down the goal into skills. Skills you need specifically to achieve that goal. 2. Build the skills you need by consistent, strategic daily actions. Quite simply… work on something each day to build your skills and build your skills then achieve the goal. For example, if your goal is weight loss: for you to lose weight you need to eat better consistently. So, your real goal is ‘to eat better consistently’. 

What skills are needed to eat better consistently? 

I always start with appetite awareness and hunger cues. So, break this down into… Practice 1: eat slowly and Practice 2: stop eating when you feel satisfied (80% full). By practicing these two habits daily you will build the skill of ‘appetite awareness and hunger cues’

If you were to practice these habits for 2 weeks each, by the end of the month you now have one of the skills (eating better consistently) to achieve your goal of weight loss. I understand that everyone has different skill levels, exercise experience etc. So, you would make your daily actions and skills relevant to where you are. For example, you may know your stuff already when it comes to nutrition, but you may need to increase your protein level to gain some lean muscle. Here your real goal is to ‘eat more protein consistently’. Practice: eat 2 palm-sized portions of protein (or equivalent) with each meal.

Your daily actions and habits are where you should focus. When you do this, you will be more consistent. Consistency brings about real change and when you see change you will naturally be more motivated. 

Here’s the thing about motivation 

Motivation and will-power are overrated! Both motivation and will-power can be depleted and its human nature to feel like you can take on the world one day, then the next day just want to hide under the covers with a bucket of Maltesers. Your ‘why’ is the most important thing when those crappy, demotivating days come along. Think about the real reasons, the ‘why’ you are doing what you’re doing. If you don’t have a meaningful ‘why’ you won’t achieve success (at least not long-term).

Nick Lower advises to be consistent, give yourself lots of ‘wins’ to reinforce the feel-good factor and always ‘turn-up the good’ that you are doing. No one is perfect and perfection isn’t achievable. Aim for a little better each day and be the best version of yourself you can be. Try this approach in 2018 and you will achieve whatever you want!

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