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Already gotten off track with your New Year resolutions in terms of your fitness? Never fear, you’re not alone! The Journal of Clinical Psychology found that 44% of people fail within the first month, with only 8% achieving their goals by year end! So February might just be the perfect time to refocus those health and fitness goals. So what do the 8% do differently? Studies show that those who are successful in achieving their fitness goals tend to have three things in common.
1. They have fewer habits to change
Too often people try and reinvent the wheel when it comes to health and go for extremes. They intend to get more sleep, exercise more, drink less and eat healthier. Those that are most successful create a goal around changing just one habit at a time. For instance, you might feel you need to lose a little bit of weight, so set one specific behavioural goal around this. For example: eating three different colours of vegetables for lunch, walking for 30 minutes every morning or drinking one litre of water at work everyday.
2. They keep a record of their progress
As the saying goes you can’t manage what you don’t measure. With advances in technology, such as fitness trackers and smartphones, it has become easier to manage and measure your health behaviour. Why not aim to walk an average of 10,000 steps a week. I use my iPhone which has the accelerometer built in. Although stepping on the scales doesn’t give you the full picture of your health, studies have shown that simply measuring your weight on a regular basis you are more likely to make better health choices and achieve a healthier body weight.
3. They have accountability
Some say the best piece of exercise equipment you can buy is a dog. Reason being a dog provides you with accountability: unless you’re walking them they will misbehave. So why not enlist the help of a friend, join a sporting team or hire the help of a health professional. Have someone in your corner who has your best interests at heart. Personal trainers have also long been proven to be a very effective at helping people stay fit and healthy. I often hear from clients that ‘I probably wouldn’t have trained today unless we had this appointment’. The other thing a health coach or trainer will provide is making sure your values are in line with your actions.