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Be patient with new year targets

Strength in numbers: working out in a group can be an excellent way to make you put in that extra effort

Have you found the one?

With the end of the year looming and our thoughts turned towards the future, you may be thinking about resolutions you want to set and new goals you’re looking to achieve next year.

Many of these are often health, fitness or weight loss related. How many times have you resolved to finally get fit? To start eating healthier? To lose those last 10lbs? But how many times have you broken your resolve?

Taking the step to commit to an exercise programme is not an easy task, trust me, I’ve been there. But what I can say, is that it’s definitely worth it in the end. Having the focus to follow through, accomplish your fitness goals, feel fit, healthy and full of energy on a daily basis is an amazing feeling, and for that reason I would encourage anyone to resolve to get in shape.

It needn’t be a daunting task though. Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of people to help them develop healthy habits that stick long-term. Here are just a few of the tricks that may help you see your resolution last longer than til the end of January!

Pick the right exercise programme for you

I get it, exercise isn’t always fun, and frankly for some of us, it’s never fun.

But I would challenge you and say that you just haven’t found the right type of exercise for you.

Whilst the fundamentals of fitness may remain the same (just get moving!), being able to stick to an exercise plan in the long-run is dependent on you enjoying it (to a degree!) and fitting it in with your lifestyle. We’re all different, our bodies are different, we move differently and we’re motivated by different things.

So if you’ve tried something before and it didn’t work, you need to look at why. Was it too challenging, too boring, too demanding on your time, or something else didn’t quite fit? Be honest with yourself. Think about what it is you want to get out of training and the elements of exercise that you enjoy and may motivate you to stick with it. This might just lead you to the programme that’s right for you.

We’re so lucky in Bermuda to have an abundance of sporting opportunities available to us so give something new a whirl: boxing, running, Zumba, salsa, HIIT classes, cycling clubs, MAAC track, swimming, surfing, the list really is endless.

Get a training buddy or work out in a group

This is one of my favourite things to do. Exercising with others has numerous benefits: it’s more fun, you usually work harder and it keeps you accountable.

I remember when I first started to work out, I didn’t have a clue how to lift weights and my coordination was all over the place, so I joined a group fitness studio.

I was so nervous I didn’t know what to expect, but second week in I could hardly wait to rock up in my gym gear and share the challenges of the daily workouts with others who were in the same boat as me. I found the community feel of working out in a group environment really inspiring.

Whilst our goals were all different, we shared a common desire to get fit, and the positive atmosphere helped keep us on track. Plus, knowing that my “team” was counting on me to show up and share in their pain, blood, sweat and tears, meant that I’d make sure I didn’t miss a session.

No more excuses, other people were relying on me (and would name and shame me if I did go AWOL).

So, whether you just grab one workout buddy or you think a group class might be a better fit for you, I’d hedge my bets that you’ll stick to your health and fitness resolutions a lot longer if you don’t go it alone.

Get specific about your goals

Just saying “I want to get fitter” isn’t really going to cut it. You need to make goals which are clear, definite and measurable. Once you know what it is you’re looking to achieve, set a realistic timeline in which to accomplish it, figure out a plan, and if you need help, seek out a trainer or coach who can guide you in the right direction. As the saying goes “fail to plan, and you plan to fail”. So don’t make it wishy-washy, get specific with what you want and you’ll have a clear target at which to aim.

Make it worthwhile

Lastly, I’d say your goals should be something that really matters to you. Let’s face it, you’re not going to stick to it if you just don’t care. It’s pointless saying, “I’m going to run a 5K”, if you can’t bear the thought of running. Likewise, if weight loss is your goal, try to focus on why you really want to drop the weight and how this will positively impact on other aspects of your life: you’ll have more energy, your mood will improve, as will your confidence and a whole host of other things.

If you see your goals as a reward, rather than a punishing journey, I’m sure you’ll be far more likely to achieve them. Whatever you decide to work towards in 2015, I wish you the best. Be positive, patient and consistent with whatever plan you follow, the results will happen.

Becky Wright is a qualified personal trainer, nutritional therapist and international bikini fitness champion. She has worked with various clients worldwide, including royalty. Becky currently works at Alchemy Fitness: www.alchemy.bm. Contact her at becky@alchemy.bm.