The New Year is a common time for people to aspire to making self improvements. We start the year off with ample motivation to achieve our New Year’s resolutions but the success rate is hit and miss. When it comes to fitness goals it’s definitely easier to have a clear end result that you’re after. You can then set out a clear course of action that’s needed to be successful. I’m going to talk about a few areas that I believe are essential for you to stay on track for achieving you goals for the new year.
Whatever your fitness goal is it should improve your quality of life. If you set a goal getting of shredding down to 8% body fat but you’re an avid foodie, then the chances of being on a super restricted diet making you happier will be very slim (no pun intended). If you’re overweight it might be more realistic and better psychologically to aim for a normal healthy body fat range (11-16%). You’re less likely to rebound and you can still enjoy your food more so than having an extreme goal. If you don’t have a big appetite and you enjoy being diced to the socks, then by all means have that 8% body fat goal as it might make you happier. Each of us will have a different perception of what’s important to us in life and that should help dictate our future goals.
Not all of us will ever be able to look like Chris Helmsworth in Thor. He has great genetics for having that type of physique and got paid millions of dollars to get into shape for that movie. If we set a goal that’s way out of our reach it will be disheartening when we realize that our dreams won’t come to fruition. This is where people can start to fall off the fitness bandwagon and get back into bad habits. Set realistic short term goals that you can achieve and stay motivated to reaching your realistic long term goal.
We all want to improve our body shape but for what reason? Wanting to look good for a particular purpose such as a beach trip, wedding, or a photo-shoot can give you that added drive to hitting your goals. You get that extra satisfaction and by having deadlines you get a clearer structure to your dieting and training.
It can be a great feeling once you achieve your fitness goal. After getting into the shape of your life it’s important to have a plan so that you don’t rebound afterwards. For my first physique show I had a slight empty feeling once the competition ended. I had put everything I had into it and once it was over I lacked direction. I rebounded and gained 8 kg in a week of mostly fat. The logical step would have been to reverse diet (slowly and strategically upping my calories) so that I could begin to eat normally again without the extra fat gain. I would have maintained the physique I worked hard to get and also not have to worry about losing all that fat again!
So there you have it folks, start setting your goals for the New Year and enjoy the holiday season. Whatever your goal is I’d recommend training as normal to make use of those extra calories you will probably consume over the festive period!
Written by Rishi Haria – Strength & Nutrition Coach