So here we are, in the first week of 2018 – the Christmas and New Year Eve celebrations a not so distant blur – and there seems to be a permanent unwelcome guest known as muffin-top following us around like a shadow! 

As is done every January, new year resolutions lists are long with decisions and intentions that look great on paper, but many will never be looked at never mind scratched off the list.  Sound familiar?  Resolutions are dreaded because we set goals for ourselves that are completely unrealistic and 99% unobtainable.  But, with the right planning, and creating the perfect New Year resolutions that work for YOU, 2018 could be one of your best years yet!

We tend to create our New Year fitness resolutions that are completely unrealistic, with goals that, with even the most dedicated gym goer could never achieve,  and by doing this, we set ourselves up for failure, which leads to stress, a low self-esteem and more unnecessary weight gain.  

So where should you start?   First and foremost, you need to be honest with yourself about where you see your own health and fitness going in 2018.  What does this fitness resolution commitment really look like to you?  And although perhaps not obtainable yet, how do you ensure you get to that end result?

The next step is to be grateful for your accomplishments of 2017.  Celebrate your year regardless of your trials and tribulations.  You are here now, you are loved, and you have a new year as a blank canvas to play with, so celebrate that.

it is important to understand that things may go wrong along the way – so create a contingency plan.  Life doesn’t always go to plan and often we cannot control every aspect of our strict planning regime. But, there is always a way around any obstacle, just make sure when you stray from your plan, that you find your way back!

Finally, and probably the most important step in creating your 2018 fitness resolution is; set small goals at first.  Don’t go all zero to hero here, as you will literally fall flat on your face, or worse injure yourself so that you are out of the game for months unable to train.  Any long-term goal starts with setting smaller goals first.  So think about a goal for this week, the following week and then within the next month.  Small steps, make a massive difference.

Bearing all this in mind, here are our 2018 fitness resolution ideas that you can definitely keep going for the next 365 days:

  1. Set A Smart Goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely):
    This is one of the golden rules in fitness.  Setting SMART goals means you are more likely to achieve your fitness resolutions.  As discussed earlier, the best way to start is by setting a short-term goal for yourself.  For example, if you set a goal that you will train 3x a week for the first month, and you achieve this goal, you can reward yourself. A reward can be a full body massage or a new outfit for example.  Psychologically, it works wonders knowing that after a challenge, you have a wonderful reward to look forward to, so while planning your fitness resolution, plan your rewards too.

  2. Set Yourself A Performance Goal:
    This is a great goal to keep you motivated and it is an easy way for you to monitor your progress too.  For example, goals could be holding a plank for 2 minutes, doing 10 perfect push-ups, or 5 pull-ups.  Your body will adapt to exercise quickly, so make sure you pat yourself on the back when you achieve the FIRST perfect rep.  Once you reach your goal here, remember to reward yourself and your body, and then up the stakes!

  3. Don’t Weigh Yourself:
    Let’s face it, the most popular New Year resolution is to lose weight and body fat.  It is important however to stress here, that when you do start training your body composition changes. And often the scales may go up although your lean body mass % is dropping rapidly. It is at this point that many people get discouraged and give up, but we urge you not to. Instead of focusing on weight loss, rather focus on how your body feels while and after you have trained, eventually the results will speak for themselves, so keep trucking!

  4. Keep A Fitness Journal:
    Documenting your goals, your challenges, your good and bad days is a really great release.  Not only can you monitor and manage your 2018 fitness resolutions progress, but it is also a platform to release negative thoughts and create positive affirmations for yourself too.  

  5. Wake Up Feeling Positive And Motivated:
    As hard as this may be on some days, wake up punching the air and purposefully stating, “Today is going to be a great day.”  Even if you don’t feel it is true, you are already setting your mind and body in a positive motion.  Say it often enough, it will become your reality.

  6. Eat Protein For Breakfast:
    Breakfast really IS the most important meal of the day, and you need to nourish your body well after a full night of sleep and fasting.  So add nut butter to your oats or enjoy an 3 egg omelette for breakfast.  You will feel the difference immediately and it will set your day up the right way.

  7. Ensure You Pack A Delicious And Nutritious Lunch The Night Before:
    We know how it goes, the morning starts with you hitting the snooze button 15 times before you realise you only have 20 minutes to get ready and get to work.  So you skip making lunch for yourself, and the only options you have at work are the vending machines with crisps, chocolates, sodas or the greasy cafe across the road.  Make sure you pack healthy snacks (such as home-made hummus and crudités) alongside a delicious and nutritious meal; one that you are excited to get stuck into.

  8. Show Up:
    That is all.  This is not a race. Even if you are stiff or tired from your previous session, get onto the treadmill and walk it out, or do 30 mins of stretching and 10 mins in the steam room.  Just make sure you show up!

  9. Move:   
    Even if you have arrived late at the gym and only have 20 minutes for a workout. Don’t use being late as an excuse to skip a session. A mere 10-20 minutes can make a huge difference and you will be proud of yourself for not giving up.

  10. Find A Workout Buddy:
    Even the most veteran trainer has days where they are not motivated enough to train well on their own, so find a reliable training buddy that will not only push you, but you can motivate them too.  Working out with a friend also invites a healthy dose of competition between the two of you as well as increasing accountability. Set goals together and push each other to achieve these.  Friends who train together, stick together!

A new year brings so many possibilities, and a wonderful (and achievable) possibility, is a new YOU.  So as we start cruising into 2018, create your perfect fitness resolution that you can run with all year and see the new you rise from the ashes that was 2017!

Wishing you a prosperous, healthy and fit 2018 😉

Love DESA x