The start of a new year is a great excuse to get a new health regime under way. But don’t worry if you broke your resolutions soon after January 1 — pick your own day to start a plan of action.

The new year has begun and you may be one of the population who started the year with a splitting hangover. You woke up and everywhere you looked, people were talking about new year’s resolutions and how they were going to make lifestyle changes to improve either their health or their wealth.

To comply with convention, you embarked on your new year’s resolutions but, by January 3, the wheels came off your wagon. The truth is, you can choose any day to create a fresh start for your life.  My goal as a coach to my clients is about one thing: empowerment. You’re not empowered when you get on the new year’s resolution bandwagon, just because society says that’s the day to start a new life.

I suggest you go for a different day. It can be any day you like — even one in the middle of January.   This may seem like a small thing, but it’s actually very symbolic. It also gives you time to prepare, mentally, physically and any other way, for the task at hand.  I am not a fan of new year’s resolutions and when you look at someone’s list, you will see why. They may want to lose weight, get out of debt, go green, or make more money.

This is a great list of goals, but they’re immeasurable and downright overwhelming. Instead of leading you to action, these type of resolutions often paralyse you, because they seem ‘far away’ and unattainable.  To be motivated to continue, you need a concise plan of action and measurable results, which tell you how far you’ve come — and how much of the journey is left.

So, instead of new year’s resolutions, maybe you should look at making new day resolutions, such as a simple to-do list. You didn’t gain 20lbs or accumulate €15,000 debt in one day. Who you are today is simply an accumulation of the day-to-day decisions you made in the past. So if you want to change your life, you have to change your daily actions. Rather than thinking of only the end goal, think about the day-to-day steps required to achieve it.

For example, aiming to lose weight would mean performing the following daily to-do list:

  • Eat a breakfast before work containing protein to rebuild your immune system.
  • Perform intense exercise that challenges your body, lasting 30-50 minutes.
  • Eat a meal every three hours containing protein, vegetables, or thin-skinned fruits.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Get to bed before 10.30pm.

These simple actions performed regularly become a habit, and good habits are rewarded with success.  In my experience, gyms will be packed in January, but it is the people who are still performing their daily activities during the months of February and March who will achieve their goals.

Joining a gym to lose weight does not equal success. It is a start, but it is what you do with your membership and what you eat in between that will determine your results. If you are working hard and not getting results, you should change your methods or seek guidance from a professional.

Insanity has been described as performing the same things over and over again and expecting different results, so if something is not working, fix it.  In order for you to achieve your goal, you must continue to perform your to-do list. That will lead to new action-orientated goals, which will eventually lead, in turn, to realising your ultimate dreams.

Remember that fitness is for life, not just for January, so make little steps to start with. It is a single step that begins the journey of a thousand miles.

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