• Alex Yagoub

New Year's Resolutions

And how to make them long term.

So, it's a week into the new year and most research shows resolutions tend to fizzle away within the first three weeks of January. The new year is a great time to start a new hobby or passion due to the simple fact that it's a new start, but in that lies the threat... it's not the new year forever but your goals and resolutions will last longer.

Think of it like a diet; which it very may well be. You don't go from eating three huge meals a day to drinking soup twice and one small meal the next, that's extremely unrealistic... and while you'll definitely get some results, fast (seeing as most of your calories come from liquids) they will not last long, and you'll probably bounce back to old habits.

The important thing to do is take things slowly - however excited you may be for getting going. The excitement is important, it'll help longer term. If you're cutting calories, start with 5% one week, 10% the next, don't go in at 50% deficit. If it's a new exercise routine, go three days a week first... then up it...

What I'm saying is what's been said time and time again, over and over... don't dive in at the deep end when you're learning how to swim.

Why this tends to work is because small gradual changes are genuinely less inconvenient, and won't give you the desire to back out or quit as quickly as jumping into something new too quickly.

My experience with a pretty big change like this was switching from Weightlifting to Triathlon. I felt like I wanted a change, I didn't know what it was, so while I trained in weightlifting 3/4 days a week, I kept swapping in different things until I found something I enjoyed - while it didn't block me doing my weightlifting.

Eventually, I (reluctantly) tried a spin class. And while that has nothing to do with triathlon bar a very vague resemblance of being on a bike, it made me feel like for the first time in a very long time, I had trained for less than an hour - and I had nothing left in me. I was exhausted.

Now, I've moved over from weightlifting and am doing running and cycling (thanks COVID) full time. The process took well over a year but I think at this point it's fair to say I've stuck it.

To summarise, pick your goals wisely - and for longevity start small. Turn your resolution into a habit and it'll stick around a lot longer than January!


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