How to: Stay on Track
Avoid the February drop-off club
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You are probably here because you need a slice of encouragement as the excitement of 2023 loses its charm.
Whilst we want to steer away from unrealistic goal setting, there is no hiding the fact that 48% of New Year’s resolution-setting Brits will be setting their sights on getting healthy(er) this year.
As we spot an influx of untouched running trainers and sparkly new smartwatches, there is something bittersweet about the number of people who genuinely give it their all – unaware that they’ll likely give up on exactly the third weekend of January…
But why do we never learn that this surge in motivation will eventually fizzle out?
And why, despite the endless reasons and drive, do we fail to stay committed?
A bad plan of action.
Read on for our key tips when it comes to preventing February drop-off and sticking to your New Year goals for good.
Drop the expectations.
No one is perfect. Even Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson would have missed a gym day at one point in his life (surely?). The truth is, people that strive for perfection give up as soon as they make one wrong move.
Those that are successful know there will be bad days and are able to pick things back up again, no matter how many times they fail.
Set achievable goals but get familiar with failure. If you don’t make it to the pool 3 days a week, drop it down to 2 without hesitation. Craving a food that doesn’t fit the diet? Eat it! Just try not to then eliminate the rest of your day, week, month, based on a couple of small slip ups.
Remember: any progress is better than none.
Personalise your journey.
Make it yours. Think about what you want to achieve, how to get there and break it down into bitesize goals. One day at a time.
Don’t listen to the expectations of those around you or what new diet works for them. Get to know yourself and what you want only. Consistency is key for some, doing it when you feel like it might work better for you.
We advise keeping to some kind of plan, but also not being afraid to alter it when you need in order to fit you.
Balance and flexibility will keep you on track in the long run.
Make fitness fun.
Another way to personalise your journey is to make it enjoyable from the offset.
Whether that’s swapping some of your usual dreaded cardio days for swimming, a LES MILLS™ class or group badminton. Just remember that fitness comes in many shapes and sizes. If you’re not enjoying something, switch it up before it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
A healthy, positive mindset to what you're doing is absolute priority.
Perhaps you like what you do but the routine is boring you? Invite a mate and see the difference it makes!
Recognise small wins
Holding yourself accountable is important, but let’s be honest – if you don’t want to do something, you’re going to find it very hard to force yourself – especially if you can’t see progress.
Treat yourself with kindness instead, by celebrating each milestone on your way.
Step 1: document in whatever way you can so that you see how far you’ve come. Keep a diary to see the mental difference or take photos to track physical changes.
Step 2: reward yourself! Whether you managed to tick off 9/10 boxes this week (congrats!) or can see small changes in your approach to the world around you. Realising these small improvements should be enough to encourage you to keep going. But don’t forget to reward yourself properly when you feel you deserve it, whatever way that might be.
Our latest Places Pointer gives you all the scientifically backed hacks behind habit making and breaking.
Or read our New Year survival guide for an extensive round-up to help you to define your goals and keep on track.
Finally, if you’re really struggling and this advice hasn’t helped you – feel free to reach out to our friendly fitness team for advice, it’s what they’re there for!
Let's Do This Together!
*The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of activity per week for healthy adults. Greater amounts of exercise will provide even greater benefits.
Sources: New Year’s resolutions 2023 (finder.com) | This is the day you're most likely to quit that New Year's running resolution (runnersworld.com) | The Impact of Incentives on Exercise Behavior: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials - PMC (nih.gov)