Happy New Year! I know lots of people moan about the “new year new me” hype but I love it! I support anyone looking to better themselves and I do believe a New Year is a great opportunity to kick start something special. Especially your 2018 fitness goals.

 I think most of us vow to eat better and exercise when the first of January comes but it’s hard to maintain this positive mental attitude for 365 days of the year. And more often than not, when March comes the word “gym” sounds like a foreign language. Being active plays a huge part in my life. It’s part of my job and I come from a family of runners so for me, being active is (almost) as natural as breathing. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my fair share of stop, starts and quits in the past. If you’re looking to get in shape, run your first race or just want to improve your health, here are a few tips on how you to become motivated to achieve your 2018 fitness goals.

 1.     Avoid fads to achieve your 2018 fitness goal

The new year is a marketers dream, and for the next three weeks you’ll hear about every diet under the sun, promising to make you lose weight. 5:2, Dukan, replace meals with protein shakes, low carb, Special K diet…you get the drift. Yes you might lose weight to begin with due to being in a calorie deficit, but there are other ways to be in a calorie deficit that doesn’t involve eat cereal twice a day. Fad diets are restrictive, boring and unsustainable, which is why they ultimately do not work. In order to motivate yourself to eat well, you need to obtain eating habits that promote long lasting results and don’t restrictive food groups. With these kind of eating habits, weight loss becomes effortless. Try keeping a food diary to identify exactly what you’re eating and look at how you can improve it. For example, if your diary shows that you usually binge during the evenings, have a look at what it is in the evening that causes you to binge. Is it because you haven’t eaten enough during that day? More often than not this is usually the cause. Try to eat a diet mostly rich in fibrous foods, lean proteins and carbs (white or brown, whichever you prefer), but treat yourself to whatever you like, whenever you like. You only live once after all!

2.     Don’t do too much too soon

I know with a New Year comes lots of motivation but vowing to run a marathon, climb Everest and qualify for the Tokyo 2022 Olympics in once year isn’t realistic. Dream big but start small and you’ll eventually reach your bigger goal. If you want to join the gym, don’t vow to 5 days a week when you know you can only commit to 3. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Set yourself up for greatness and achieve your 2018 fitness goals. If you want to get into running, try doing a park run before you commit yourself to signing up to a half marathon. I promise you, this will help you to keep motivated throughout the year and prevent you from giving up if your goal is taking longer to achieve than you thought. Start with making a few small changes to your lifestyle and they’ll soon become a habit.

 3.     Treat yourself to some new clothes

Nothing makes me feel more motivated than new workout clothes and the January sales are the perfect opportunity to revamp your wardrobe without breaking the bank. My favourite active wear designer for women is without a doubt Sweaty Betty. Yes it may be a little bit on the pricier side but the clothes are designed with a woman in mind which means they fit you well. They sculpt to your body and hug you in all the right places. It’s also worth going along to a running shop to get your gait tested, if you’re thinking about taking up running. A good pair of running shoes could be the difference between an injury and a PB, so you need to make sure your shoes match your stride. 

4.     Get specific when goal setting.

You might say that this year is the year that you want to “tone up” but what does that actually mean? What does it actually look like? You might say that you want to get into running, but what does that actually mean? Do you want to run a sub 30 minute 5k? Become a track runner? Run one of the World Marathon Majors? What are your 2018 fitness goals? The more detail you can provide when setting these goals the better. It will help you in the planning stages of achieving your goal because you’ll be able to identify exactly which steps need to be taken next. Write down your goal, when you want to achieve it, how you think you might achieve it and how you’re going to reward yourself once it’s been achieved. 

5.     Don’t compare yourself to others

Comparison is the thief of joy so try not to get distracted on your journey by watching someone else’s. It’s not going to bring you anything positive or worthwhile so try not to look at the Instagram pictures or race results and think “I’m not as good as her” or “I am not as strong as him”. Instead, focus on becoming the best version of yourself. In the words of Garmin, work to “Beat Yesterday’. Keep a training diary and use that to monitor your progress. Taking progress pictures is also a good idea because more often than not, the scales don’t reflect the change that’s happened or the work that has been put in.

I hope you find a few tips in here to meet your 2018 health and fitness goals! Let me know what your 2018 fitness goals are.

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