7 Questions to ask yourself to guarantee an amazing 2021
Turning the page on a new year is always a good time to reflect on the year gone and your plans and aspirations for the year ahead. No matter your age or stage of life, having a strong sense of your goals lends itself to greater fulfilment rather than potential disappointment knowing another year has passed you by.
For most, this reflection combined with a spike of motivation results in new goals and resolutions being set. Setting goals is a great practice, but the reality is 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail in January as the motivation subsides, and we find ourselves back in our normal routines.
So how do we utilise this time of reflection and increased motivation to our advantage?
The key to any long-term change comes from a change in the way you think. Changing the way you think takes time and effort. The changing of your thoughts comes down to asking better and different questions than you have asked yourself before.
Start by acknowledging that your current health and fitness is a product of a lifetime’s habits. These include obvious habits like your level of physical activity and diet, but extend to the 100’s of minute routines like sleep, hydration, stress and other factors we often overlook. It’s these many little habits that combine to give you your current health and fitness status.
The good news is these habits are changeable and if you go about it the right way and don’t try to change everything at once, it’s actually not too difficult. Ask quality questions that challenge your current thinking about your habits and whether the outcomes they are producing are worthwhile.
Here’s seven questions worth spending some time thinking and answering when setting your focus for your health in the new year:
1. What habits/behaviors’ that affect my health and fitness do I need to stop doing forever?
Brainstorm as many habits and behaviours as you can, include nutrition, exercise, activity level, alcohol/drugs, mindset, organization, work, family, relationships.
2. Of these things which are the ones that would be the easiest to change and also have the greatest positive impact?
3. This year, which of these things am I committed to stopping forever?
4. In relation to the ones I am not willing to change ask this question of each: “What is the implication and cost of maintaining this behaviour?”
An example of a bad habit you know is impacting your health and fitness:
“Drinking alcohol during the week”
You decide you are not prepared to give up drinking during weekdays because of the social & physiological rewards you receive. Be very honest in admitting that the implications of maintaining this habit include compromised energy levels the next day, poor sleep, impact on future cognition and mindset, increased weight gain, body fat.
It’s important that we consciously understand the implications of our non-negotiable habits and take ownership of their implications.
5. What are some easy changes and/or routines that if created would have the biggest, long-term positive change on my health and fitness?
Choose 1 to implement from now.
6. How can I make my routine more fun or enjoyable?
Consider recruiting a training buddy to help keep you motivated and vice versa. Join a fitness group or a club, ride instead of run, find a trainer to motivate you, find a new location to inspire you to walk, run, ride further.
7. To achieve long term change how does my physical environment need to change? Who in my circle needs to support me?
This is super important; changing routines and habits is very easy when the environment supports it. Clear out the pantry. Re-organise you weekly meal plan, see a Nutritionist, get your family on board to assist you or even better- join you!.
Once these 7 questions have been answered, you should have a solid understanding of your habits and routines and which ones you are prepared to change. The key is not to try and change everything at once.
Change a maximum of 1-2 things per area of health (nutrition/exercise/non exercise activity/sleep) per week.
Choose the easiest ones to implement that will give you the biggest positive change first. Being accountable to the changes you commit to make is critical. Share the plan with the people who will hold you to account and be honest about your compliance.
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