Ditch The Resolutions

Lauren Simpson Fitness 2018 Reflections

Hey Babes!

Welcome to 2019!!!

The year that was 2018 was huge for me and my business, and I am so proud of everything myself and all of my #LSFbabes achieved!

So many people out there will have spent the holiday period partying, indulging and basically putting their health and fitness goals on hold. Some of you may have struggled throughout the holidays with temptation and restriction and spent the festive season worrying about derailing your progress. And there is no doubt that a lot of people that managed to achieve silly season balance, enjoying time with friends and family, enjoying being active and enjoying a variety of indulgent and healthy foods.

No matter what category you fall into, we can’t help but use the ringing in of the New Year to act as a reset button. A time where we pause, reflect and vow to turn over a new leaf. But I’m going to be a little bit of an outlier here and suggest you ditch the New Years resolutions…

Don’t get me wrong, I love the tradition of pausing, reflecting and learning from the experiences of the previous year, BUT so often we go big over the holidays, then come January 1st we are wracked with guilt due to our unhealthy behaviours, we look in the mirror and mentally list all of our flaws, vow to lose weight in the shortest time possible and promise ourselves we will train every day and only eat minimal amounts of clean, healthy foods for the rest of 2019. If you know anything about me, you will know that this isn't an approach I endorse!

The tradition of creating resolutions at the start of each New Year is born from the best of intentions, and for some this is enough to encourage positive change. Today I want to suggest that there is a better way to approach the new year. The old school tradition of vowing on January 1st to change your life from that day forth isn’t the smartest way to improve your lifestyle. This can lead to perfectionist expectations and ultimately feelings of failure and self-loathing when you fall short of these (often unrealistic) resolutions.

Instead, I'm going to suggest an alternative; why not spent a little time purposefully reflecting on your lifestyle and experiences from the previous year, then take those lessons and the new level of self-awareness you have gained, and use them to create a realistic plan of how you will improve in 2019? If you want to take on the New Year with positivity and a plan, why not try out these activities?

Grab a piece of paper, or open the Notes app on your phone and jot down the answers to these questions:

  • • What were your best moments of 2018? What people, things or experiences are you most grateful for?

  • • Without judging yourself, in what areas do you think you could have performed better in 2018? E.g. family time, work ethic, commitment to training, nutrition quality, savings, healthcare, holidays/ travel, etc.

  • • In what area of your life do you think you have made the most progress in the last 12 months?

  • • In what area of your life do you feel you have the most room to progress in the future?

  • • What barriers do you think have stood in the way of you becoming a better version of yourself? These could be physical barriers such as injuries or tight finances, or mental/ emotional ones.

  • • Brainstorm 3 strategies to overcome these barriers.

This activity is not about judging yourself or your progress. It is not about determining if you are where you are supposed to be. It is simply an opportunity to reflect on where you are and where you would like to take your life. The next step from here is to find small, actionable ways to start you moving in the direction of your dreams. You don’t need to do anything drastic, simply take positive action, no matter how small it is.

I suggest writing down 3 things you can do TODAY to make your day more positive. That could be as simple as drinking an extra glass of water before bed or setting your alarm 10 minutes earlier for tomorrow, or maybe just going for a walk around the block. Simple, positive and easily executed! These actions should be:

  1. • Simple, easy and above all, achievable

  2. • Repeatable

  3. • Positive

  4. • Taking you in the direction of your dreams, goals or a healthier lifestyle

Try to do these 3 things every day for a week, remember, the purpose of this exercise is to help you build momentum. Once you have reached one week of completing your three actions, give yourself a big high five! You catch more flies with honey, so make sure you are positively encouraging yourself (keep an eye out for the negative self talk!).

After one week, you could then add in a fourth action, or build on one of the three existing actions, whatever you choose, but remember to make sure it is achievable. Research supports this approach of breaking your goals down into small and simple action steps that can be worked on every day, which in the long term can completely overhaul your life!

Each week, continue with the positive actions from the previous week, but continue building and adding to them. Focus on adding in positive behaviours, rather than taking away ‘bad’ behaviours or habits, and eventually, you will find the positive behaviours leave no room in your life for the bad ones.  Who knows, maybe by the time my SAS 3.0 Challenge kicks off on the 28th of January, you could be ready to take on even bigger lifestyle improvements?!?

So why not ditch the resolutions and simply take small, conscious and actionable steps in the direction of your dreams every single day of 2019? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!