Aim for 1%
Generally this time of year there are a few people thinking resolutions. Now there is nothing wrong with a resolution, while they can be tricky to stick with they are most certainly not impossible.
For a resolution to stick it really needs to be coming from a place of your values and something that you really desire.
Think back to a bit over a year ago. What were you doing before Christmas 2016? Are you where you thought you would be right now after Christmas just gone? Are you completely satisfied with your efforts over the last year towards your goals?
Now when you answer those questions ask yourself these ones. If you haven’t changed much, whose responsibility is that? Does Christmas 2016 feel like not that long ago? Now if you had started a change last year at this time, how much closer would you be to achieving it if you stuck with a 1% improvement everyday?
The reason I am writing this at this time is that every year, just before Christmas I have people come up and talk with me when shopping or out for parties or just out and about. And I get a fair few saying that they must come see me in the New Year. The number that actually do, is very small, and then the next year I see some of the same people, and we have a similar conversation. It is hard to convey tone in text, and I am in no way right now judging or trying to shame anyone, I am about to point out that maybe those aspirations to get in shape or lose those kilos are a bit lofty or don’t align with your values yet. Notice I said yet?
For far too long working out has been viewed as an exercise in vanity, ie people going to the gym are doing so to look good. And this is where I feel a fair amount of people fail with their resolutions or determinations to change. I have seen time and again the goal of wanting to look better be a very weak one, or unattainable or once ‘attained’ easy to go back to old destructive habits. For exercise to become the life enhancing habit we need it to be it must come from a place that you value.
If you can’t see that your health is the most important thing for you, your job, your family and well everything in your life, then you won’t start to prioritise it until it might be too late. If you want to look great and have 6 pack abs or the cover model body, then a strict nutrition regime along with a worthy exercise program must be adhered to.
If you want to function better as a person, sleep better, climb stairs without being puffed, play a quick game of touch footy, work in the garden on the weekend and then not be incredibly sore Monday then you need to consistently exercise to maintain that function and eat well enough to support that function. And this is done by small incremental changes each and every day, not by making a sweeping lifestyle change and altering your whole life tomorrow.
With the all or nothing mentality you can find it very easy to fall back into nothing very quickly.
So that is where a 1% change everyday comes in. I have seen plenty of people fall of the wagon that have gone for the total change all at once, and I can understand, it is hard to keep up a huge change in your life when the alternative was an old habit that was easier than the alternative.
However if you aim for a little each day and each week you will find the benefits in a years time so massive.
These little changes can be things as simple as for this week you will endeavour to drink at least two litres of water everyday. Don’t attempt to take something away, nor say that “I will not eat any sugar at all this year!” That sort of all or nothing mentality can quickly come undone, one misplaced Tim Tam at a friends house and you may just pack it all in.
What I have seen work time and again is adding something in. Due to necessity the things that aren’t as great for you fall by the wayside. So like above, add in water to drink if you know you drink too much soft drink. Or if you know you snack on energy dense foods and this is an issue vow to have two extra serves of vegetables with two of either breakfast, lunch or dinner.
If you are wanting to get into an exercise program you can start off small, committing from 1 to 3 hours a week is as small of a commitment as you need to make initially. The nutrition changes can come later if you like. From my experiences you need to make small, sustainable changes for any health and fitness goal to succeed.
So add those little bits in, 1% better than yesterday, whatever they are, and see how much difference you can make over the next few months then you can look back at this time next year and really see how much you have accomplished in the last 12 months.