New Years resolutions- setting yourself up for failure?

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So over the next few days people are going to start thinking up some new years resolutions. Some will keep them secret others will tell everybody some will fail nearly straight away, some may succeed for a while and then fail and some just might succeed. In this blog I’m going to try look at a few things that I think might have an effect on whether or not people succeed at their new year resolutions. You may be thinking what this has to do with strength & conditioning but aside from the fact some peoples goals may be exercise based even resolutions such as quitting smoking/drinking are exactly the same because its all a mental challenge. Losing weight in 2014 may at first seem like a physical challenge but really its your mental toughness that will decide how hard you try to reach your goals.

Are you setting yourself up for failure? 

So the most common new years resolutions are lose weight, quit smoking and drink less. All great choices for a healthier life especially after over dong it over the Christmas more then likely. But they’re a bit vague aren’t they? I mean like “lose weight”? How are you going to do that? Diet, exercise, both? Are you aiming to lose a certain amount of weight or get to a target weight or dress size? When do you want to reach this target weight? I could go on and on thinking up these questions that could be huge actors in deciding if you achieve your resolution(s). So if you don’t want to set yourself up for failure you need to answer all of these questions and plan in detail how you are going to succeed. the more detailed your plan the more likely you will stick to your resolutions!

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How to plan for your 2014 resolutions.

So as i said you really need to break it down to as much details as you can. Break up your overall goal into smaller achievable goals/steps. So for example if your overall goal is to lose 10kg before summer ( 5 months roughly) you should have steps in the middle such as a half way mark where you should have lost a certain amount. Now you don’t have to focus on the ultimate goal you just focus on reaching the next step.

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Now you decide how your going to reach this step.

  • Plan how many times a week your going to train
  • What type of training are you going to do each day
  • Are you going to train at home or attend classes/gym
  • Are you capable of designing your own exercise programme or should you ask someone else
  • Do you need to change your diet
  • Are you capable of choosing the right foods to eat or should you ask someone else
  • Should you tell family/friends your goals so they will support you

The same principles go for quitting smoking or cutting down on drink. Set a time period and set goals/steps along the way. If you’re smoking 20 cigarettes a day then maybe aim to be down to 15 a day in a month and so on.

All the planing in the world is useless without mental toughness!

I know I already said that careful planing is a huge factor in determining if you reach your goals but you’ll need some mental toughness too as you get closer to reaching your goal and it gets harder and harder and you may want to quit. Mental toughness is the voice in your head that tell you to keep going and stops any doubt that creeps into your head. At some stage you might feel like its too hard, not worth it, a waste of time etc. But this is just looking for excuses to quit and in the process fail in your new years resolution. It’s important to think positive here and focus on the positives you’ve already achieved and how close you are to reaching your goal. Maybe talk to someone about it and get some advice.

Summary

So there was my thoughts on new years resolutions and as many of you prepare to start your new years resolutions in the next few days just remember the two biggest things you’ll need to reach your goals in 2014. A detailed plan and mental toughness. If your new years resolutions aren’t hard then they’re not really resolutions just small lifestyle changes and you should reach them easily. But if your getting ready to make a big change in the new year be prepared because it will get tough and you will feel like quitting, but its pushing through and achieving these goals that make them a great achievement.

Best of luck to everyone in their new years resolutions and 2014!

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Eoin

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