How to Actually Achieve your New Year’s Health Goals

It’s that time of year again, when we promise ourselves that this New Year, we’ll truly become a “new me”. We’ll throw ourselves into great new fitness classes, stock up with a fridge-full of healthy snacks, and yet still somehow find ourselves no different come Springtime.

To start 2018 on the right foot, we spoke to the talented Elliot Hasoon and George Bradley, personal trainers at Hall Personal Training Oxford and Hall Personal Training Cheltenham to get their take on how to finally achieve those pesky New Year’s resolutions.

Research conducted in the U.S. found that a whopping 80% of resolutions fail by February, so if that sounds familiar you’re certainly not alone, Elliot noted. So why is it that we can’t we stick to these resolutions, why aren’t our best intentions good enough?

lady doing deadlift in gym
Source: Hall Personal Training

Well, there are a good few reasons, but don’t worry, with the right goals and the right mindset, you’ll be able to carry your resolutions all the way through 2018.

George recommends this three-step process to help his clients meet their fitness goals from the First of January through the rest of the year.

1. Ditch the “Resolution”

The first step is to stop calling your resolutions “resolutions”, and start thinking of them as “goals” instead.

Think we’re going mad? The term “New Year’s Resolution” has a subconscious negative stigma to it, which can prevent you succeeding before you’ve even started.

When it comes to creating healthy habits that stick, it’s all about getting your head in the right place. The word “resolution” can remind us of the times we tried to get on track and didn’t succeed, or the way other people react to your resolutions, whether with an understanding smile or a bit of a laugh.

The mind has more power than most of us realise, so to have the best chance of success we need to use a word with more meaning. The term “resolution” implies that once it’s broken, it can be cast to the wayside. But a goal, on the other hand, is more than just a passing fancy.

Forget what people around you are thinking, even if you set some resolutions last year and promptly forgot them. By changing them to “goals” instead, you’re automatically reframing them as a longer-term process, allowing us a few stumbles along the way to our achievements.

blonde lady doing deadlift in gym
Source: Hall Personal Training

2. Making those Goals a Reality

So, we’ve agreed that we’ll set goals instead of resolutions. The second step is to choose just one or two things that are important to YOU – not anyone else.

A 2005 survey found that the top five resolutions were to spend less and save more, spend more time with family, lose weight, enjoy life more and to stay fit and healthy. Whatever it is that you want to achieve, make sure it’s something you feel strongly about.

On to the next step: making these dreams a reality. When goals like “lose weight,” or “spend more time with family” are phrased so simply, they sound pretty achievable, don’t they? But there’s nothing in those simple phrases about how to achieve them. How do you bring health to life?

You need to create an action plan. Decide on a timeline and the size of the goal. Rather than saying “lose weight,” try saying “I want to lose 12kg by June, for my sister’s wedding” for example. While 12kg sounds like a huge amount of weight, 2kg per month sounds much more realistic, and it’ll be easier to work out what needs to be done to achieve this.

3. Keep yourself accountable

Key to achieving any health or fitness goal is creating better habits, and you need these new, healthier habits to be stitched into your daily routine so they become automatic actions.

If you want to drink more water, get used to carrying around a 2L water bottle and keeping a small cup beside it on your desk. If you want to spend less money on coffee, put the change you would spend in a pot so you’ve got a reward. There’s a really good app called “Streaks” that can help you track your progress, or just put a tick in your calendar on every day you manage to drink the water/avoid the coffee shop, and you won’t want to break the run!

personal training at hall gym

Source: Hall Personal Training

Now you’re on your way, but need to stay on track and make sure you keep checking your progress. Rather than looking in the mirror every day to check for more muscle tone or weight loss for example, take photos every 30 days and compare those. Our brains are programmed to ignore tiny changes, so you won’t see a difference in the mirror every day, but looking at your goals a part of a bigger picture can show you just how far you’ve come.

Whatever it is you decide to choose as your goal for this year, learn to enjoy the process. A truly healthy and happy and life means that things don’t always go as initially planned, and that’s okay! Remind yourself why you chose the goal in the first place and get right back on track.

What are your goals for 2018? Let us know over on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

About Elliot and George:

George Bradley is a level 4 personal trainer at Hall Personal Training Oxford, specialising in hypertrophy (muscle-building), helping clients to create the healthiest body possible. Elliot Hasoon is also a level 4 trainer, based at Hall Personal Training Cheltenham, who is motivated by the amazing physical and mental transformations he leads clients to. Hall Personal Training has been providing leading health and sports training since 2007.