by Henry Gould – Jan 8th, 2021
Happy New Year! It’s a cliche’ as old as time: “New year, new me”. Rarely do the goals we set forth on Jan 1st last longer than a few weeks; soon the old habits creep back in and we find ourselves with a glass of Chardonnay on a Tuesday when we said it would be a dry month.
There’s no point making promises to yourself that you can’t keep. Just as a meal plan is pointless if you don’t actually follow it, so too are goals that aren’t realistic for your lifestyle.
Set goals you can crush –> Crush them –> Set new goals
Below is a non-exhaustive list of goals you can set for yourself that will at the very least give you a head start on 2021, or instead open your imagination to other ideas.
Remember, consistency is much more important than short bursts of intensity. No use working out every day for a week if you take the next week off. Focus on goals that are obtainable and within your reach, then work your way up.
These are very basic goals, and by no means original, but they are good starting points. Feel free to go further, but only if you think you can see them through to the end.
Alcohol: 6 Days Off, 1 Day On
Lots of people do “Dry January” by taking the month of booze to reset and recalibrate. That’s great (I’ve done it) and it’s an awesome exercise in restraint, allowing you to step back and realize what life looks like without drinking. It’s no secret alcohol is not the best for our health (or bank account), so taking time off is important to making sure things don’t become problematic, especially after the month of December when we tend to indulge more than we should.
However, 31 days is a long time, and often after the first week it feels like we deserve a treat, at which point Dry January becomes “Dry first week of January”.
Breaking up the month by allowing 1 day per week to indulge in alcohol is a decent compromise, and allows you something to look forward to and work towards. Generally after 6 days off, your tolerance will go down slightly and you’ll find you drink less than you might normally.
If you normally went out once or twice a week for drinks, instead put that money in a fund to buy a nicer bottle of wine you might never have purchased otherwise.
Sweat Every Day
Definitely not new, but “Sweat Every Day” is a great way to make activity a part of your daily routine. Sweating doesn’t have to mean a 10km run or intense weights session. It can be as simple as a brisk walk to get your 10,000 steps in, or a 20 minute flow Yoga session in front of the TV.
The goal is consistency, especially over an extended period of time when you will really start to notice results.
Also, don’t commit to things you don’t like doing. If you hate getting cold and wet but said you would run every day, that seems destined for failure. Find things you’re more likely to keep doing and focus on those.
Plant based diets have come a long way since the days of bad jokes on South Park. In 2021 nearly every fast food and quick service restaurant chain has at least a few vegan options available, something that would have been unheard of 10 years ago.
Food is always political, and the eating choices we make have impacts that go far beyond the food on our plate. We could all stand to eat less animal products, but if you eat meat every day and have now said 2021 is vegan only, chances are that won’t last.
Instead, start small. It’s corny, but “Meatless Mondays” can be a weekly challenge to yourself to cook without the use of meat or animal products.
Since the majority of our protein needs are usually meat, finding alternatives can be tricky, but the internet is a wealth of knowledge! Beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, as well as the vast variety of meatless products on the market are a good place to start.
Many food cultures have long been vegan, particularly Indian and Middle Eastern, which means eating food that actually tastes like food rather than things that are a facsimile of meat.
There’s also some great vegan recipes on this blog, so have a look through and see what appeals to you.
Push That Weight
Many people people set goals to lose weight in the new year, which is great… but you need a plan.
The general consensus used to be that cardio was the only way to lose fat. As knowledge and research evolved, it’s clear that training with weights has a much greater impact on burning fat, in addition to the clear benefit of gaining muscle.
If you have some dumbbells at home but don’t know how to use them; first step is to get a hold of the “Dumbbell & Bodyweight” Yard Online Training Program. Perfect for home workouts with minimal equipment, this is a great introduction into training with weights and allows you to see results much quicker than jogging ever will.
The other option is starting a weight training program either at your home gym or with Yard Athletics. Since group classes are still on hold, we are only hosting 1:1 and 2:1 Personal Training sessions in the gym. The good news is this allows you one of our expert trainers to stay focused on yourself and a friend through the whole workout, designing programs to achieve your goals.
Done safely and properly, weight training will deliver results much faster and with less overall work than cardio alone.