That’s it then. Christmas and the New Year’s celebrations are done. What a difference a few days makes. Only last week we were all over indulging on mince pies and drinking Baileys for breakfast. Now it’s raining and everyone is back to work. But never fear, for there is hope on the horizon…. Your new year’s resolution has arrived. This is the time to get fit, join a gym, buy a packet of detox powder, drink 5 litres of water a day and go to RPM 5 times per week.
Unfortunately in my line of work I have seen literally hundreds of people try and fail, year on year, January after January. The main reason that they continually fail? Read on and you will discover how to avoid the five biggest mistakes that people make when trying to get fit and healthy in the new year.
1. Overwhelm. Quite simply, people eat and drink all the way through December and come January they want to become a professional triathlete. Setting a realistic goal is SO important to avoid overwhelm. When people set an unrealistic goal they get two weeks into it and give up as it’s too much of a challenge. The best way to avoid this is to keep it simple (KISS.) As an example, if you want to lose two stone and be fit enough to run 5 miles, then plan it out. I’m not talking about a periodised training programme, I mean a simple set of guidelines.
Week 1 - Run 30 mins three times per week. Cut out sugar in my tea and don’t drink during the week.
Once you have planned your first week, build it step by simple step
Week 4 – Run 45 mins twice per week and do one 20 minute high intensity sprint session. Continue no alcohol in the week and cut out one take away a week.
2. Talking about doing something and actually doing it are totally different things. Have you heard the saying, “All the gear and no idea?” Well, don’t fall into the trap. Don’t buy all of the latest training gear, the latest GPS watch, new sweat bands and lycra cycling shorts and never use them. The hardest part is starting. Putting it off and putting it off will only lead to you getting to the end of January and thinking that, “It’s too late now!”
3. Put your money where your mouth is. Listen, I am a huge advocate of getting out into the great outdoors, going for long walks, doing it alone and researching the best nutrition programme to follow. But ask yourself, how is that working out for you? Over the last ten years, how many January’s has your weight dropped, your health improved and your body shape transformed? If the answer is never, then HIRE A COACH. Would you rewire your whole house, dig up the driveway and build a conservatory? No, you wouldn’t’, so hire an expert.
4. Don’t listen to all the hype and BS. It’s the age of information and with that comes a bombardment of detox powders, weight loss pills, elixir’s, 30 second ab blast DVD and belts that give you wash board abs. I will say this only once, they DO NOT work. Hard work, consistent effort and a healthy eating programme will transform your body. Nothing else.
5. Phone a friend. Going on a body transformation journey can be long, hard and very challenging. Having a friend to go on that journey with can make everything that little bit easier. Being able to talk about the same issues, the nutrition and training can be extremely motivating. It’s also so much more rewarding when you achieve something with someone you care about. Being competitive is also really healthy, it will make you work harder and hold you accountable.