Hints and Tips for the New You

Chances are, you're here because you over-did it over the Winter, all those warm, comforting foods and long dark evenings in front of the TV - and you want to lose weight or inches!

Perhaps you've been thinking about your health and fitness for a while and think

New Year = New You!

Either way, on this page, you will find some ideas and links to other helpful pages to help you get started.

Read on to find guidance on goal setting, some suggestions for long and short term goals 

and you can scroll straight to the bottom of this page for a list of links to other helpful sites ...

(if goal setting is a challenge too far right now!)

When deciding on your goals, there are a few things you should think about first. 

  • WHAT do you want to achieve and WHY do you want to achieve it? You need to choose goals which are important to YOU, ones that you believe in, NOT ones you think you SHOULD because others have suggested it.
  • Although you'll have an idea in your mind about a long term goal, start with goals that are SHORT TERM and feel more ACHIEVABLE to you. These could be ones that help you towards your long term goal (process goals). For instance, if your main goal is to achieve weight loss, a shorter term goal could be to increase your water intake (see the link for benefits of drinking more water). 
  • Wherever possible goals need to be SPECIFIC and MEASURABLE, so you can tell when you've achieved them. - For example, if you feel you could go to the gym more, how much more could you manage? Choose how many sessions you could fit in and how long you think they should be. You are more likely to stick to goals that are specific (e.g 2 sessions per week, minimum of 45 minutes) and you'll feel very pleased with yourself when you've acheived that on an ongoing basis.

Think about the QUESTS in adventure stories. The HERO has to gather weapons and tools to help reach the final object of his quest.

You are the HERO. Your LONG TERM GOAL is the object of your QUEST, while the weapons and tools are your SHORT TERM GOALS which contribute to your  success.

What sort of HERO will you choose to be? 

Some ideas for LONG TERM GOALS:

  • Specific weight loss based on your current weight or a final target weight.
  • Specific waist/hip measurements (health potential is often measured by the hip/waist ratio)
  • A target dress size.
  • Muscle/fat ratio (reduce fat%,increase muscle %) which can be measured using body composition scales (mine are Ormron)
  • Fitness - be able to complete a specific event by a specific date - e.g. a 5k or 10k run (Parkrun is a greatway to get stuck in) - Mine last year was to complete the Wolf Run in Leamington in April. 

OR you could go for achievement goals, which would also result in your becoming fitter, with some fat-loss along the way too:

  • Be able to complete a specific event by a specific date  - e.g. a 5k or 10k run (Parkrun is a great way to develop your skills and endurance). - I enjoy those muddy obstacle events!
  • Be able to perform a specific move or balance that has eluded you - handstands, climb a rope, a certain number of press-ups. (I have recently started practising callisthenics to enable me to do handstands and pull-ups. In the process, I need to strengthen certain muscle groups which also happen to contribute to my overall strength!)

Some ideas for PROCESS or SHORT TERM GOALS:

  • Drink at least 1.5 litres of water daily.
  • Make 2 healthy food swaps per week (these could include replacing packaged meats with home cooked varieties. Processed foods contain more salts/sugars and other unhealthy additives)
  • Exercise 3 times each week. (these could even be 3 half hour sessions to begin with).
  • Keep a food diary (if you use something like MyFitnessPal, you can even track how many carbohydrates, proteins and fats you're eating)
  • Commit to some sort of exercise a certain number of times a week. (I PLAN a minimum of 3 gym sessions to every week - that way, they become a priority, not an 'if I have enough time'!)