With the end of the year quickly approaching, thinking about the new year and changes which can be made to improve health start swirling around, not only in personal thoughts, but it starts getting advertised in magazine, books sold, ad campaigns, and throughout fitness programs. Everyone’s definition of healthy is different, and it is important to set health and fitness goals around what you would feel most accomplished by achieving, and which will drive for further self-care. You should never feel undermined or defeated when making changes or looking to change your food intake or exercise behaviours.
So while the inspiration starts coming, how do you put your new health, fitness and personal goals into motion so that you can work to achieving them. By planning prior to the new year arriving, it will be easier to transition into change in the new year as the ideas will be cemented and ready to work through.
- Start by making a list of all the things you are hoping to achieve in the next year: from wanting to buy a new car, or losing weight. Don’t use set numbers for anything, but just make a list and build on it whenever you have a new idea.
- Make a yearly plan: this can include have a monthly chart prepared and beginning to list where you hope to achieve each of your goals. This doesn’t have to be shared, and is always a good point for personal reference and times when motivation may be limited.
- Be realistic: this is the hardest factor to add into a list, because we have started to want everything quickly which is not usually achievable. If your goal is to run a marathon, don’t plan to do one in two months without having any training, plan it for 6 months away and you will constantly know what you are working towards.
- Adjust your goals: this is one which is also very often forgotten. If you set a goal to lose 5kg over a certain time period, and only achieve a 4kg weight loss in that time, adjust your goal. Add the amount of time it took to lose 1kg and set your goal for that time. That way, you are still able to achieve your goal and do not feel like you are admitting defeat. There is nothing wrong with making change.
- Have reflection time: once a week, take a small amount of time to review your goals and decide whether any of the above need to be changed. That way, it won’t all feel like a big, uncontrollable change when the time comes and your goals are not on their way to being achieved.
- Unfollow people or celebrities on social media who don’t make you feel good about who you are: this is a massive one, as social media is filled with people who don’t always represent what each individual can achieve through healthy eating, lifestyle, and exercise. Remove these people from your feeds, and follow someone who promotes better body shape or health messages who you feel will assist you in working towards your goals rather than hindering.
This can relate to both dietary changes, and also changes in health, wellness, and lifestyle. For more advice on how you can work on your food goals, come in and see one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians and learn how to plan perfectly for you.