With the start of January 2020 comes not just a new year, but a new decade. So while it can be tempting to jump on the “new year, new me” bandwagon, we are encouraging you to think differently about your New Year’s resolutions this year.
It’s not through extreme diets or workout fads that you’ll lose weight in 2020. Here’s the big secret for getting fit in the new year: regular exercise, commitment to healthy living, and a positive outlook.
Here’s our formula for getting fit in the new year, and staying fit:
Start with purpose
Launching into a fitness regime just because you feel guilty for all the extra prawns and frothies over the Christmas break is unfortunately not going to make it stick. Life gets in the way, and pretty soon those superficial goals don’t seem as important as the challenges right in front of you.
Avoid putting off your progress by identifying your true reasons for wanting to get fit in the new year. Intrinsic motivation – that is, your personal internal reasons for wanting to lose weight in 2020 – will keep you going when external factors or setbacks are threatening to interrupt your progress.
Find the superficial reason and drill deeper to understand what is feeding that, and you might just strike gold with a powerful motivator.
Set achievable goals
Think of your weight loss resolution not as a monumental milestone, but instead as a series of short-term targets. Suddenly the thought of losing 5 or 10 kilos, deadlifting 20kg more, or running a half-marathon is not as daunting.
Why? Because every week you have a target that’s not only achievable, but measurable. SMART goals are a great method for setting and tracking targets:
- Specific goals like “run 5k without stopping” or “drop a size before the wedding” give you more clarity and accountability than “lose weight” or “get better at running”.
- Measurable progress helps you mark off steps on your journey. If your goal is to run 5k continuously, you can break this into 1k lengths and use a journal or fitness app to track progress. Not only is hitting your targets great motivation to push harder, it also makes the final target easier to reach.
- Achievable targets are within reach – with a little effort. If you’ve never run before, aiming for an Autumn marathon might be a stretch, but a 5k or 10k race is certainly possible.
- Realistic goals save you from losing steam. Being able to deadlift a car is, for most people, not a realistic goal. But being able to deadlift your own weight – now that is something you can work towards.
- Timeframe ties back to measurement. When do you want to achieve your goal? How about those smaller targets along the way? Giving yourself a deadline is a good way to visualise the journey broken up into smaller, smashable chunks.
The main reason around 80% of people abandon their resolution to get fit in the new year – most of them within just 2 months – is because the goals they set are unrealistic, daunting, or simply too far away to mean anything.
Look at your lifestyle
Getting fit this New Year depends on a combination of lifestyle factors. While regular exercise goes a long way to losing weight, all that good work can quickly be undone by unhealthy food or excess booze.
Long-term health depends on a gradual shift in perspective driven by those intrinsic motivators we talked about earlier, not radical change. With incremental adjustments to your eating habits, attitude to exercise, and overall approach to health, you can develop habits that stick.
Cutting back on booze is a great help for getting in shape and feeling more energised in the morning. You don’t have to completely cut out alcohol. Instead reduce your intake and switch out sugary mixed spirits for a glass of wine or low-calorie soda water alternative.
Think about your food habits as changing your diet instead of going on a diet. This removes the natural end date of crash dieting and helps you gradually replace processed foods with natural grains, swap out sugar for healthy snacks and get in the habit of shopping more health-consciously.
Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day helps your metabolism stay active to burn calories. Remember weight loss is an equation: to lose weight in 2020 you need to burn more calories than you consume. Aim to work off at least 500 to 1,000 extra calories a day by taking the stairs, walking to meetings or going for a brisk morning walk.
Be prepared for setbacks
Most people targeting weight loss through diet and exercise can realistically expect to lose 0.5kg to 1kg every week, depending on their starting weight and body fat percentage. Getting fit is a personal journey, and one that will have some hurdles along the way.
Some weeks might not go as planned and that’s alright. Focus on what you can achieve this week, rather than a target you missed last week.
Celebrate your wins
It’s important to reward yourself when you reach a big target. Maybe you’ve dropped a clothing size and want to buy the dress in your wish list. Or you’ve been eyeing off a new Xbox game but wanted to earn it by losing another kilo.
Rewards are highly personal. Our advice is to avoid food-based rewards, unless it’s a new appliance you can use to whip up healthy meals in your own kitchen.
Don’t do it alone
Only you can decide it’s time to get fit in 2020. But when you do, a support network can be invaluable in helping you keep your New Year’s resolution and finally make lifestyle changes that stick. Help is at hand in more ways than you might think:
- Book regular PT check-ins to keep your workouts fresh and tailored to your targets
- Get a nutrition plan for the whole family to limit tempting treats at home
- Try a group fitness class to find a supportive fitness community
- Convince your partner or friend to become your swolemate and join you in getting fit this year
- Keep a fitness journal or publish your progress through an app
- Tell friends, family and co-workers about your goals so they can encourage you along the way
Getting fit in the new year is a journey, not a sprint. There is no magic bullet, but lifestyle change is possible for everyone. With our 2020 weight loss tips and incredible savings when you join Surge Fitness this month, you will soon be well on your way to smashing through you New Year’s resolution goals.