Katie Bulmer-Cooke: Stay on track this January 

January 4, 2017

North East Times’ health and fitness correspondent Katie Bulmer-Cooke looks at the best ways to stay motivated and committed to your 2017 goals

January is here and the world is going New-Year’s-Resolution-crazy. Sadly, many people never see it through. The main reason for this is that they aren’t specific enough about what they want to achieve and, without a strong and specific goal, they can’t measure their success and they lose their way. This is a shame given how much motivation and fire everyone seems to have in January when it comes to health and fitness.

So with this in mind, it is super important to have a goal if you want to stay focused and on track. Here is my essential guide to getting it right:

Feel passionate about your goal. It should be personal to you, not a friend, family member or colleague.

Be measurable. You can set a measurable goal by attaching a number to it, for example, ‘I am going to get back into my size 12 black trousers’ or ‘I am going to lose two inches from my waist’.

Be time restricted. Working towards a specific date will really boost your exercise and nutrition adherence. Make sure you choose a time frame that challenges you, but doesn’t put you under undue pressure. Try setting four, six and and eight-week goals initially. For example: ‘In six weeks, I will have lost two inches from my hips.’

Be realistic. It is important to know the cost of achieving your goal. In other words, what is the biggest change you need to make to see the results you desire? Do you need to make exercise appointments with yourself, stop buying processed food so that you aren’t tempted to stray from the fitness path or set aside time to prepare your meals?

Predict how you’ll feel if you achieve – or don’t achieve – your goal. Visualise yourself achieving your goal and focus on how you feel. Do you feel elated, energised, proud, delighted? Then predict how will you feel if you don’t follow the plan properly and you don’t hit your target. How do you feel? Deflated, disappointed, flat, sad?

Making a change is never easy, but remember that success never stands still. Every choice you make will either take you closer to your goal or further away; closer to how you want to feel or closer to how you don’t want to feel.

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