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Top 7 Tips on staying motivated and keeping your New Years Fitness Resolutions

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” ~ Zig Ziglar

It's the time of year that the majority of us start rededicate ourselves to our fitness goals. New Years Resolutions are made, gyms are packed in the first week of the year but, ultimately, a lot will fail. So how do you give yourself every possible chance in succeeding your goals? With this being the first proper Monday for a lot of us to get back into the swing of things, I thought I would share my tips with you on how to keep yourself motivated and staying on track:

1. Set Specific Goals
"I'm going to workout/run/attend classes 3 times a week and lose weight." While it is good that you're setting a goal, this is way too vague. How much weight do you intend to lose? There's no timeline set to achieve this vague goal. How do you know you're making adequate progress? Its hard to stay continually motivated for a goal you have no idea how long it will take to achieve. Set a specific weight loss goal or a specific exercise that you want to be stronger in. And set a timeline on how long you are going to take to get there. A deadline is critical for me to achieve a certain target. It helps if it's a particular event. It will make that event feel a lot more special if you have achieved your goals for it and then reassess your goals rather than one long aimless path. 

2. Be Realistic
"This year, I'm going to train Monday-Friday, first thing in the morning and I'm going to run 3 times a week and eat 100% healthy until I am fit." Great. Except you never train in the morning and it's pretty close to impossible to eat 100% healthy all of the time. Make small changes to your routine and then gradually increase the load. Anything too drastic is going to be harder to maintain over time as well as too taxing on the body.

3. Train in Something You Enjoy
Despise running? Then don't run! Don't force yourself through activities you hate doing. You're not going to stick with it and there's plenty of alternatives in relation to exercise. Find something you like doing. Exercise shouldn't be torture 100% of the time. If you enjoy something, you are much more likely to stick to it. 

4. Make Yourself Accountable
Tell people what your goals are as well as how you are going to achieve your goals. Almost to the point of bragging. I am going to ________. And by 10 weeks/x event I will achieve _________. You've backed yourself into a corner now by saying that. Lets say you are telling the people in your house of your health goals for 2017 and how you are going to achieve them. Are you really going to then order a pizza or come home with a chipper after that and listen to them throw your words back into your face? It's a lot easier to lie to ourselves and put off our own goals when know one else knows about them

5. Find the Right Nutrition Plan for You
If there's one thing I'm not a fan of, is receiving messages asking for specific nutrition plans (I just cost myself money by saying that!). It's a waste of my time and a waste of your money. There are two main reasons for this. A) Lets say I do take your money and I make a set nutrition plan for what you should be eating. Even if I've taken into account your daily routine, there's no telling that your are going to enjoy the food I have put on the plan. And if you're prepping and eating food you don't like day after day, you're going to get sick of it. It's not sustainable! B) There's no such thing as one nutrition plan that suits fat loss for example. I'm a big fan of low carb diets. They've worked for me. They've worked for my friends. And I've seen them work for a lot of clients. But that doesn't necessarily mean they will work for you. You might react differently to a low carb diet. You could find that low carb diets, for example, suit your body better. Or some other nutrition plan out there. And that's great! What works for you, works for you. But you have keep a note of your starting point and measure how different diets affect your results. I much prefer using pictures and measurements over the weighing scales for this.

6. Preparation
"Fail to prepare, prepare to fail." Momentum and motivation to start a diet and exercise is easy this time of year. Maintaining it is not so easy. But if you have your meals prepped instead of last second routing through the fridge or having to rush out and grab something on an empty stomach and if you know exactly when you are exercising each time, you are more likely to succeed. You should also know exactly when you are going to work out each day. Set a specific time and stick to it. Otherwise, you will be putting it off all day and, before you know it, it's too late. I know myself that when I get up, if I don't work out then, I'll end up not working out for the day. There's always something else on or I'll lose track of time etc. 

7. Rest
Rest is not a bad thing. I would recommend getting come form of training 3 times a week for 45 minutes to an hour. Keep the intensity up as much as you can for that time and then use the other time to adequately rest and recuperate. Rest gives your body time to relax and adapt to the stress that training puts on it.