As we settle into a new year I am amazed at the messaging from the fitness industry the mantra of “new year, new you” is - plastered everywhere. As the owner of a fitness product business you might think that’s a tad controversial - shying away from a tag line that generates millions in spend every January from consumers. But let me assure you - I am passionate about people moving their bodies, in investing in themselves for a healthier lifestyle both physically and psychologically and supportive of whoever wants to make a change. BUT I am also passionate about these changes being enduring, sustainable and becoming long term habits - not a sugar rush for 2 weeks.
Much like our products at Wild Mingo, I believe health should be a long-term investment. It’s not something you start and can stop and it’s certainly not only something that lasts from January to December - it is something that you choose to prioritise, year after year and day after day.
Building sustainable, repeated habits that you can grow and nurture is a better focus, than turning your life upside down for a New Year’s resolution you can’t stick to.
The new year new you messaging promotes an idea that you need to drastically overhaul your lifestyle - here’s the secret, you don’t! Many of you are busy working professionals (just like me) and fitting in another 6 hours a week of exercise classes may be fun for a few months, but is unlikely to be sustainable as social events pick up, work gets busy and life gets in the way.
So what can you do if you are looking for a jump start? Small habits that grow - how many steps do you do per day? Is this something you even track?
Using a smart watch or a pedometer track your incidental exercise for 2 weeks to get your baseline - don’t try to walk more or change a thing, just notice what you already accomplish per day. At the end of the two weeks look at the average steps and set a goal - increase them by 1000 steps per day, maybe 2000 if you feel you can, but then stick to this goal for the next 4 weeks tracking and trying to hit that goal - review it and adjust it at the end of the 4 weeks either to continue to build or to reach this target number of yours.
And then? Repeat.
If you do this 3 times, at the same time duration, you will have just spent the first quarter of the year consistently building towards a goal and achieving it - not waiting till December 31. This means you can then evaluate those goals at the end of March and set new ones. The same could be said of drinking water - if you don’t drink a lot set a goal to finish 1 bottle a day, or if you do, how might you limit some of the other liquids you drink that perhaps aren't as good for us i.e. soft drink, alcohol etc. I’m certainly not suggesting you cut them out altogether, but think about ways you can increase your water consumption - if more water isn’t the answer less of the other stuff might be.
We know that people who share their goals with others are 65% more likely to achieve them - tell a family member or friend or if you’re game enough drop me a comment below with what you are committing to as a habit for 2024 and I’ll keep you accountable!