Top 3 tips to (actually) achieving your health & fitness new year’s resolution

Consistently the most popular new year’s resolutions are those around improving health and fitness. And I’m sorry to report that after 18 years in the fitness industry I can definitively tell you the odds on achieving said resolutions are less than stellar.

But it’s not all bad news and shitty odds, below are my top three tips to coming good on your health and fitness inspired new years resolutions. I’m not being judgey – I’ve just seen it 18 times before:

Start NOW

A new years resolution is nothing but sanctioned procrastination. As logical, thinking, intelligent beings we have somehow convinced ourselves that this is a magical date to which we assign the person we want to be.

That’s a lot of pressure on future you. When I’m under pressure I tend to cry and/or drive until my petrol runs out. But with the cost of petrol these days I lean toward crying as a coping mechanism.

Anyway if that’s not your idea of a new years day well spent, my first tip to sticking to your new years resolution is this: the moment you decide you want to improve your health and fitness, START. Start right now. The thing is this, on 1 January you won’t be magically motivated. On 1 January you will still have the same time pressures you always have. On 1 January the roadblocks that stopped you throughout the year will still be there. What you are setting yourself up for is waiting for the ‘perfect moment’ to start. 1 January becomes February when the kids go back to school. Then March because the family is getting into a routine for the year, then after April because it’s Easter…

Don’t change. Much

For some reason we believe we will be a different person from 31 December to 1 January. Consuming hashbrowns on the sofa one day, green smoothies and running the next. Why are we like this?

To avoid the crushing disappointment that you haven’t woken up on 1 January as the person you want to be (but whyyyyyy?), can I put it to you that you can be that person – it just might take longer than 1 business day. Just don’t change. Much. Start with incremental changes/swaps that slot into your regular routine. Change your upsized takeaway meal with a small. Replace one episode of a binge sesh with a walk around the block. The point is make (almost) imprescriptible changes that won’t be such a shock to the system.

 Be practical

If your plan on 1 January is to meal prep, get in a gym sesh, write down 3 things you are grateful for, make a friendship bracelet from recycled plastics, hike and drink 2L of water – I need you to calm right down and instead ask yourself: what measures can I realistically put in place to achieve my health and fitness goals? While of course there is going to be some compromise and shifts in your daily life/routine as your health and fitness is bumped up on the priority list, setting yourself up for failure by trying to do everything from the beginning isn’t he answer. 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

When making your new years resolution, just remember that your health and fitness is a life-long commitment (not as depressing as it sounds) meaning you don’t have to do everything perfectly from the arbitrary 1 January start date. Simply start (now) with small changes that fit your lifestyle and you’ll never have to make a health and fitness related resolution again…they are soooo last year.