We've reached 2020 and unlike the predictions made by Sc-Fi films of the past there has been no zombie apocalypse, we are not 'doomsday' prepping (yet anyway, but let's see what happens when Brexit hits), and we are not living on Mars, again....yet.
However, what does seem to be prevalent as we ease on into the next decade is an increasing awareness of self care, escape and well-being in whatever context that is for each one of us. Obviously my bag is movement. I find escape through dance, Yoga, cycling, wine and being by the sea and I exist very much in the here and now. I crave the endorphin rush from exercise and pretty much survive on adrenaline to see me through my busy schedule (often by the seat of my pants) which has made me realise that I do need to factor in more rest and downtime for myself alongside of making sure that I prioritise quality family time too.
We are generally investing more time and money than ever
before in the pursuit and hope of finding that physical and
mental escape from our day to day lives resulting in us
becoming far more in tune with what we need to do to find a
sense of equilibrium...even if we're not quite there yet. For a
lot of us the balance between health, nutrition and overall
well-being is at the forefront of our minds as we leave the
indulgence of Christmas behind and head into January with a
real sense of conviction in our efforts to become the fittest,
healthiest, most successful, well travelled, most accomplished
version of ourselves than we've ever been before...the list
could go on by the way, which is a brilliant feeling..... right? A revived sense of 'getting shit done' coupled with a sudden release of energy and enthusiasm too, it's great and it's a feeling I am very much aware of and try to use to my advantage every time it decides to surface, however, that moment can be fleeting which is why I started to think.about the saying 'out with the old in with new' and what it actually means in this context. I've heard it used flippantly so many times as we were approaching the New Year and maybe this idea is partly to blame for that feeling of disillusionment when the New Years resolutions aren't met as quickly as we may have liked them to be.
There is no quick fix to health and fitness, after all it's not as simple as getting rid of some old clothes and replacing them with new items to spruce up our image as we cannot simply get rid of the person that we are and the habits that govern us just because it's a new year. We need to come up with a new strategy to help us to maintain momentum throughout our fitness and well-being journeys and I believe that remembering the fact that we are the same person on the 1st of January as we were on the 31st of December is a pretty good place to start. It is unrealistic to think that we'll wake up on the 1st of January and magically transform into somebody else without our faults, cravings and bad habits, especially as there is currently a huge lack of Fitness Fairy Godmothers waiting to wave their magic wands to grant us our health and fitness wishlists. Instead we just have to commit ourselves to the hard work ahead and make a start with an understanding that we are in this for the long haul, taking each day as it comes.
So my advice to anyone who is about to embark on a health and fitness overhaul is to start by loving the version of you that you're taking into the new year, thank yourself for 2019, the good, the bad and the ugly and move forwards into the new decade by switching your mindset to improving upon what you already have wrinkles, warts and all instead of wishing you were something different and finally deciding where you want to be in January 2021 and planning exactly how you're going to do it.
Staying on track can be difficult so here are some useful hints to keep you going and achieving your health and fitness goals in a more holistic way.
Make small changes especially where nutrition is concerned. Begin by changing one meal a day to a healthier option and increase this to two and so on and before you know it you'll be ditching those old cravings as your body becomes satisfied by healthier options .Keeping a food diary can help you to understand your habitual eating habits too and give you an idea of what to target first.
Discover exercise that makes you feel good, don't 'endure' a class or training.session just because you feel like you have to, you'll end up resenting your workout time.
Find a training buddy and become accountable for each other's progress this is a much cheaper option than a PT.
Allow yourself to fail and learn from it each time that it happens
Always listen to your body, somedays it just isn't happening.
Set your self mini challenges to work towards and a reward if your goal is achieved
Rome wasn't built in a day, neither was Arnie so give yourself time and enjoy your health and fitness journey and remember it's an amazing privilege to be able to do so.
Happy New Year Everyone!