New Year’s Resolutions, by the 4D Personal Trainer Oxford

New Year’s resolutions can be a fantastic way to put yourself on the road to better health and fitness, or they can be just another thing to beat yourself up about! The key is choosing the right format and the right rules for you.

One of the first bits of advice I give people is don’t set yourself up to fail! If you’ve been meaning to get into better shape for ages and never quite managed it, you’re not going to suddenly do it all at once in the first week of January just because it’s 2013. The key is to get yourself moving in the right direction, and to create some momentum that will carry you forward.

So a resolution that aims to cut out every food that you like and involves going from zero exercise to training every day is never going to be achieved, and will only serve to weaken your self-discipline in the long run.

Self discipline is a habit that can be trained and cultivated.

The best present you can give yourself this New Year is to start consciously training your self-discipline. Pick a resolution that stretches you a little, but that you are confident you can achieve. Then decide with your whole mind that you will achieve it. The difference between succeeding and failing is so often how well you made the decision in the first place. This is so important I’ll say it again:  The difference between succeeding and failing is so often how well you made the decision in the first place. If you set the parameters of the decision precisely, leave no wriggle room for self negotiation, have hard and fast rules, write them down, and then make an absolute, self defining, life changing decision that you are somebody who is capable of sticking to the rules, then you will succeed – and you will have made the first step on a path that leads to self-discipline, achievement, progression… and improved health and fitness!

So try not to see this year’s resolution as a one off chance to change your whole life in one month. See it as the first step of many resolutions that will lead to and improved you. And maybe don’t aim to start on the first of January – aim to start when you’ve settled back into your routine a little and can focus on the small, important changes that will eventually improve your life.

By the 4D Personal Trainer Oxford

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