New Year’s resolutions are both a blessing and a curse. Most of the time, people end up breaking them, usually because their goal is too vague or unrealistic. It’s okay to aim for the stars, but your resolution should not be an anchor, permanently weighing you down. As most people’s New Year resolutions are usually health-related, here are six handy tips on helping you achieve your goals and lead a healthier 2018.
1. Revise your goal and make it more concrete
It might sound simple advice but it is important to set concrete goals and be specific. Just saying you want to eat healthier or lose some weight is not measurable. Without a clear goal, your path leads nowhere – divide the big picture into smaller, separate goals. This way, you’ll experience the benefits and tick off landmarks along the way, making it easier to reach your final goal.
2. Think positive
Positive thoughts can move mountains. Negative thoughts do not feed success; therefore, you should be aware of keeping a positive mindset throughout.
During your training and diet choices, implement positive thoughts to reassure yourself that what you are doing is for a greater good. To give another example, I often advise people to focus on what they can eat rather than what they cannot eat.
3. Diversify your training
Your endurance and strength need time to develop. This is why it is advised to first increase the frequency of your workout before increasing the volume and the intensity. Follow a training program each week with realistic targets in mind.
Fun and play are very important when it comes to sports and exercise. Doing what gives you pleasure rather than something that feels like a chore will help you achieve success much quicker. Get on your bike, go for a swim or play basketball with some friends. Be creative on finding your own diversified training, and keep the motivation high.
4. Give yourself a break
It will take time to build up your stamina and resistance, so don’t be scared to give yourself a break. There is more than enough research to prove that rest and well-planned recovery periods are beneficial for achieving your goals. However, don’t rest up for too long – doing so can become counterproductive or harmful for your overall health. Give yourself enough recovery time between training periods, ensure your sleeping pattern remains good and stay focused.
5. Stick to a healthy diet
To be successful you need energy, so it’s important to eat good quality food. Without it you cannot expect your body to endure high performance. Eating healthy is very simple – just eat more “real” food. Hyper processed foods out of a packet should be avoided.
Whenever possible choose fresh, seasonal and local products. Increase your vegetable intake, limit your animal protein intake, eat fruit and drink plenty of water.
6. Make it a game
Rewarding yourself and celebrating success is a powerful tool to create new and lasting habits. Making it a game can make it even more interesting. Find an accountability partner that is in the pursuit of a similar goal. Challenge each other by creating an accountability contract where you write down your goals and what you need to do to achieve it. Write down a consequence if you do not stick to your promise and, more importantly, write down a reward if you do.
Remember, every effort deserves a reward, so don’t have a bad conscience when celebrating success. It is a means to maintaining high motivation to achieve your end goal.
Tom van der Meij
Sports & Events Coordinator
Les Roches Global Hospitality Education, Switzerland