Finally change your life and achieve the body you want this year
It’s that time of year again, with the New Year approaching, and thoughts turning to making the best start to it.
A sense of renewal is in the air and many people are preparing themselves to hit the ground running (pun intended!) in early January.
You can prepare yourself psychologically to get the best head start. After all, the biggest hurdle that we all face is ourselves.
Personally, I find the final days of the year really motivating. It’s a time to reflect, to plan, and to visualise a different future in the year ahead.
With these 5 simple steps you’ll give yourself a better chance of truly embracing change and achieving a better, increased self confidence, and enhanced energy in every area of your life.
Here’s how to start the New Year off with these 5 realistic, simple steps.
Make sure you are both mentally and physically ready to start your journey to success.
A lot of people abandon their programme due to not having the right mentality from the beginning, and we can increase our chances of success merely by being well prepared.
I find that the easiest way to prepare is to start with the simple things.
Do I have my gym kit organised?
What are my nutritional goals?
Have I done my weekly food shop?
When can I incorporate my exercise time into my day (whether that’s gym time, running, rock climbing etc)?
And how many hours per week can I realistically achieve?
Being prepared is like taking an exam, the more you prepare the better chance you give yourself to succeed.
2. What are my goals?
One of the biggest problems with New Years resolutions is that they can be extremely impractical.
Setting goals is a fantastic idea, but just make sure they are realistic and feasible.
Having a short term goal to start with is usually the easiest way to achieve.
Sometimes, setting long term goals can put too much pressure on yourself, and therefore it can feel like we can never really see the end goal.
My advice would be; set monthly targets – 1 month becomes 2, 2 months becomes 3, and before you know it 3 months have passed and you are well on your way to conquering what you had set out to achieve.
We prioritise the most important things in our lives; family, work for example, and for me my health has to come first.
We’ve all had that moment where we tell ourselves “I’ll start next week it will be fine”, but next week can soon turn into a month and so on.
If you don’t truly make your health a priority you may as well just unpack your gym bag and put your feet up for the next year now.
Health is the key that unlocks everything else: more energy, a better body, enhanced mental focus, greater resilience in a world that’s busier than ever.
If you don’t make sacrifices in order to achieve what you truly want, what you want becomes the sacrifice.
Achieving consistency, rather than shooting for perfection, is key to long term success.
Short term fads and quick fixes are everywhere these, and most people have tried them. These might look like:
- super low calorie diets
- 6 week, 8 week, or 12 week ‘transformation’ progammes
- extreme gym workouts
- ‘going keto’
- buying all new running or gym gear but never actually going
- dusting off your gym membership for 2 weeks every year
- investing in aesthetic treatments but never doing the nutrition, exercise and lifestyle work to change how you look and feel at a deeper level
What does creating a sustainable lifestyle look like for you? How does it fit in with your work schedule, your social life, your cooking skills etc?
Where are the blocks that are holding you back from creating the ideal circumstances for long term, sustainable success?
Any long term, successful solution will need for you to sit down and invest some time in thinking about, planning out, and tweaking your life.
These days we expect to eat two pieces of broccoli, go for one run, and start to see changes in the mirror. But that’s not how it is when creating long term health and happiness.
You need to think about how to change your lifestyle from the ground up. Then commit to daily habits that create that lifestyle.
These habits should be easily achievable, introduced at your own pace, and could look like:
- getting to bed on time
- scheduling in time to move your body, and having a plan on what you’ll do
- drinking enough water every day
- replacing processed foods with unprocessed foods
- not having alcohol in the house
- having a clear meal plan that you’ll enjoy eating
Just make sure everything is done at a pace that you can commit to.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that ‘more and faster’ change = ‘better results’.
That might be true in the short term. But if you didn’t create sustainable change, then your results will be short lived.
Excuses are the enemy of consistency.
It’s a slippery slope when you find yourself making excuses each week (or even each day!).
Pay attention to your inner voice – your excuses will always seem reasonable and justified, but are they really?
If you’ve taken the time to:
- design a lifestyle that is realistic and truly fits in around your commitments
- you’re prioritising your health and what it means to you
- you’re committed to creating long term consistency
- and you’re being honest with yourself
then your excuses will stop and changing your life will begin.
Remember your mind quits before you body does, and you have control over both.
5. Motivation & positivity
We all thrive on being motivated throughout our lives and surrounding ourselves with positivity.
No matter what your situation is, staying motivated is perhaps one of the biggest challenges ever.
It’s important to never lose sight of why you are doing this.
Change is never going to be easy. But if you push your body and mind beyond its current limits, you can achieve anything you set out to do.
I always have that image of what I want to look and feel like, it keeps me focused on my goal.
No one is perfect, everyone at some point of their journey falls, the most important thing is to get back up as quickly as possible and go again.
If you truly find your motivation to change – the reason it means something to you – and commit to it every day, you’ll find it easier to pick yourself up again when you fall.
I hope these 5 really simple tips help you to make the very best start this year.
Here’s to your continued success, not only in looking, feeling and performing your best, but in living a better life as a whole.
To your lean, healthy, optimised future,
Matt, Dee & the Optimised team