A Happier Year is in your hands
Good riddance 2020, you stank! Your Christmas present to us was tier 4, at the end of the hardest 9 months most of us can remember. And as you skulk off into a dark corner, you leave grim uncertainty as to what follows...
But whatever has come before can't be changed. So now is always the best time to accept and go forward. Now is always the best time to start. That means setting goals. So what are your resolutions for 2021 and more importantly how can you keep them past Valentine’s Day?
Here's our top 6 tips:
6. Break big goals into TINY steps. They move you forward. Look for surefire bets. Just getting to first base can build your confidence to tackle and succeed at more difficult tasks. Don't disregard easy choices. Pushing too hard can put you off taking the next step. A seriously hard run, an overly tough gym session, a walk that makes your feet bleed are sure fire ways to destroying your appetite for the challenge. Whereas every step forward, however small, takes you closer to your goal.
5. Give yourself a medal. Don't wait to call yourself a winner once you've crossed the finish line or lost every unwanted inch. Congratulate yourself and accept praise whenever you get the chance. Health changes are often incremental. Encourage yourself to keep at it by pausing to acknowledge success as you tick off milestones along the route.
4. Forget perfection. Set your sights on finishing that half marathon or getting to the top of that mountain, not running the whole way or breaking records. If you compete to complete, you'll be a winner even if you have to stop every 5 minutes or lose 2 stone rather than 3. With exercise, and so many other goals, you'll benefit even when doing less than you'd like. If you achieve more, it will be a bonus on top of your success!
3. Accept failure as your best friend. Every time you try and fail, consider it a step towards your goal, not a setback. Each sincere attempt is a lesson in how to do better and eventually succeed. All you have to do is try again and you're getting there. If you just keeping going, you'll win!
"Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again." - Nelson Mandela.
2. Make a commitment to others. Join a group or find a training buddy. That way your commitment becomes routine rather than needing something to magically motivate you every time. Allow others do the organising, so all you need to do is turn up - it's one less hurdle when you're lacking motivation.
Make yourself accountable through a promise to people you don't want to let down. It will encourage you to stay focused when things get tough. Post your promise on Social Media or find people with similar goals - there's all the social benefits that will come too...
AND OUR ABSOLUTE TOP TIP:
1. DREAM BIG! Anyone can head into a new year, project, job or challenge full of enthusiasm. The tough part comes after the novelty wears off. Remaining motivated to make lasting change is hard. The best way to remain focused is with a MAJOR goal. Whether you want to transform yourself into an elite athlete or just lose the Christmas pounds, DREAM BIG! Audacious goals are compelling, they keep you focused and might just change your life. So go for it - just pick one and you're halfway there!
For instance, my mother loves telling people I couldn't run until I was 5. I probably am the least natural runner imaginable - flailing arms and legs that kick out sideways. It's not pretty, it's not efficient and it's getting worse with age. However I grew up watching the London Marathon, inspired by people going beyond their limits. Eventually realised my only chance of joining them was to lose my fear of failing and stop worrying what other people think. The training was incredibly hard; I never really mastered the art of running in a straight line; was beaten in a sprint finish by a gorilla suit and collapsed in a heap behind a giant rhino at the finish line. Maybe it was being picked up off the tarmac by a group of emotional middle aged men? Maybe it was joining their sweaty group embrace? Or maybe it was the tears streaming down ours faces? But something that day was the catalyst to building self-belief that I could achieve pretty much anything, if I wanted it badly enough. In reflection, an ambitious aim inspired, motivated and applied the necessary pressure to make me put trainers on and head out the door, even on the darkest days during the long months of training.
Motivation to remain disciplined is all about setting a goal we seriously want to achieve and working out the small steps to get there, while appreciating everything you achieve along the way.
Start the new year by asking yourself what good comes from pessimistically looking forward with fear and trepidation? Will worrying about the future improve your health, find you a new job or make you a happier person? The sad fact is, other than obeying lock-down rules, there's just about nothing most of us can do to effect how this pandemic story plays out. What we can control is the way we react to whatever it brings. At the start of the restrictions, many people were given the unfamiliar choice of how to use sudden unrequested free time. While some sat and moped, others got fit, fixed their houses, spent quality time with family, set up new innovate businesses... This proves that even in dark times there are wins. And that's the secret to a better 2021. Is this going to be your year? Will you triumph in adversity or simply blame factors you can't control for things you couldn't do? And remember:
WE ONLY REGRET THE OPPORTUNITIES WE DON’T TAKE
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