Did you indulge over Christmas and feel the need to make amends? Maybe you have one or two ideas for self improvement? Or want to up workout routine and improve the quality of your life? If so, you are not alone. Many of us see the New Year as a fresh start and a new opportunity to make positive changes to our body, health and lifestyle.
If you would like to make some improvements to your life but are not sure where to start, here are some of the top self improvement goals to give you some inspiration for making your 2019 your best year yet.
Top New Year’s Resolutions;
- Aim to get in shape
- Venture out of your comfort zone and meet new people
- Improve your diet and lose weight
- Quit smoking
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Learn a new language
- Stop procrastinating and improve productivity
- Improve education or start a new hobby
- Save money or pay off debts
- Be more active and improve fitness
It is common to have more than one goal for self improvement at New Year. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, be careful not to take on too much by revamping your entire diet, workout routine and lifestyle all at once as you will likely fail. Instead, think carefully about the changes you would like to make, set realistic goals for yourself and devise a plan of how you intend to achieve them.
Many of these resolutions require a ton of discipline to succeed. Possibly the most notorious on the list is the most popular goal of getting in shape. So, here are a few extra tips on how to improve your chances of success at tackling the number one New Year’s Resolution and whip your body into shape.
Working out – If your early morning workout routine is a constant debate between getting up while it’s still dark and cold outside or staying in bed for an extra hour, we all know which one will win. Try making it easier for yourself by programming your mind the night before. Mentally plan your workout; cardio or weights, HIIT workout or a bike ride, yoga or swimming. Whatever it is, it will help with the mental discipline in the morning if you already have a plan. Also lay out your active wear the night before so you don’t need to over think anything in the morning.
Not a morning person? – Our sleep patterns follow a cycle, ranging from light to deep sleep. There are now also some really great apps available that monitor your sleep patterns and wake you up during a half an hour window at the point when you are naturally more awake, making it easier to hop out of bed in the morning. Also, try placing your alarm on the other side of the room, so you’ll need to get out of bed to turn it off. The adrenaline boost of actually getting out of bed can help to wake you up and improve your chances of staying up.
Remove barriers to change – Sometimes changes to our lifestyle can take a while for your brain to adjust. You may try and fail a few times before the new habits become permanent changes to your lifestyle. This is totally ok, be patient with yourself. It isn’t easy to undo a lifetime of bad habits, so if you have a bad day, make sure you start again the next day.
Make it fun – We all need to push ourselves to change our routine and make improvements. But that doesn’t mean we need to hate every minute of it. Choose exercises that you will enjoy and are more likely to keep up. If you are likely to get bored with hours of cardio on a jogging machine, why not try an exercise class like circuit training or zumba to keep it fun. If you have an interest in fighting, why not try out Muay thai or MMA training to keeps your interests up. And if all that sounds far too much like hard work, why not try yoga, swimming or hiking to get the heart rate up without being too strenuous.
Don’t be a hero – We all know the phrase “Go hard or go home” but in reality if you hit the new diet and exercise routine too hard early on, it is very likely result in injury or quitting. Instead, ease into your new workout routine over a couple of weeks, allowing your body to adjust. As you slowly adapt, you will be able to push it further and then increase the rate at which your physique changes.
Give it time – It takes around four weeks to start seeing the benefits of your hard work and the changes to your body. It will take a little longer for friends and family to start seeing the improvements. So give it time, and people will soon be commenting on your new toned and streamlined physique.
Get the diet right – This will possibly have the greatest influence on your training success and how quickly your will get in shape. Not only will getting the diet right allow you to lose weight, it will provide the energy for your workout, the right building blocks for muscle building and the right nutrients to maintain a healthy body and support your immune system.
Get plenty of rest – Make sure you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep and allow yourself a few days off each week to rest and rejuvenate. Allowing your muscles time to recover between workouts will enable your muscles to build and repair damage. This will also minimise risk of injury and give your body chance to replace the depleted carbohydrate stores.
Add a variety of exercise into your routine – Weights help build a toned muscular physique, cardio is great for burning those calories and improving your heart, stamina and circulatory system. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is great for slowing the aging process and improving your metabolism and yoga is great for stretching out those tired muscles and minimising the risk of injury. By adding a variety of exercise into your routine you can improve your overall health, stamina and physique more quickly and reduce the risk of injury.
Most importantly – Enjoy your new routine and get excited about the journey and person you could become in just a few short months. Stay strong and stick to the plan and the benefits will pay off!
Have a very Happy New Year!