People are always very determined and excited when it comes to New Year's Resolutions. They'll have a list of things they want to do. Lose weight? Check. Eat clean? Check. Sleep early? Check. Go the the gym 6 days a week? Check. And what happens when February comes along? Resolutions in the bin y'all. Too hard to follow. No time. No motivation. Bah humbug.
Fitness is 20% head knowledge and 80% behaviour. You know what you have to do, but changing all your behaviours at one go can be a real pain. Heck, it is so daunting that you'll never be able to do it unless you are forced by circumstances to do so. Eg. medical emergency. That's why only 8% achieve their New Year goals.
So is all lost? Nope. Here's what you can do:
Track What You Want To Do
Write down all you hope to achieve. Lose weight 5kg in 6 months? Eat healthier? Hit the the gym at 7am every morning? Got it.
Now write all your current undesirable behaviours. Watch Netflix till 4am in the morning? Check social media when I wake up? Eat too much junk food? Not going to the gym enough? Eat too many sweet stuff every time you feel stressed or depressed?
Rank Your Undesirable Behaviours
If you have a list of 10 undesirable behaviours, then rank them 1 - 10. 1 being the easiest to change and 10 being the hardest to change.
Plan And Change Your Behaviours
No one learns to juggle by tossing 5 balls in the air. Try that for a while and it'll frustrate you so much you'll walk away. Why then do we try to change so many of our behaviours at one go?
Research has shown that we will most likely change our undesirable behaviours if we stick to ONE change at a time. That one change will, according to researchers, take about 66 days to become a habit. It's when that first undesirable behaviour becomes desirable and it becomes a habit, that is when you work on the next undesirable behaviour. It will take some time and a lot of effort, but when your habits start to stick, the progress will be worth the while.
Footnote: Personal Story
I started changing my undesirable behaviours from October of 2019. The first change was waking up at 7am. That took me quite a while to settle in as I've always been a night owl. Roughly 3 months after, and after waking up at 7am felt easier, I added the next behaviour I wanted to change and that was to workout in the mornings. So I did strength training at the nearby Anytime Fitness gym every morning.
Circuit Breaker happened. Gyms closed, but I kept my desired behaviours going since they stuck. I went back to the gym once Phase 2 started and in October 2020 (1 year since I started), I changed another undesired behaviour. I added my dislike for cardio as the 3 ball to juggle. Now, I've not changed my eating behaviours. I still eat my burgers, ice cream and chocolates. That behaviour is further down the line as I think that's going to be something much harder for me to change. But with the current 3 changes, I've lost over 14kg since October 2020.
Pretty sure my results will be much better if I change my eating behaviours as well, but that'll come later. Let me ensure this 3rd habit sticks first.