New Year, New You…

Chinese New Year is over so it’s time to get down to business…

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s been a while since I’ve been working out so I figured it would be best to go back and start over. And since we’re starting over, we might as well do it right. So here’s how it goes…

1. Set your goals

Before getting started, it’s always best to identify goals. If you don’t have a target, you won’t know what you’re aiming for and whether you are achieving it. So what are your goals? Be as specific as possible. For instance, instead of “exercise regularly” try “exercise for 20 minutes, 3 times a week”.

Set SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely.

2. Be realistic

Getting healthy and losing weight takes time so don’t set impossible goals or you are setting yourself up to fail. For instance, don’t expect to go from being sedentary for the past 5 years to suddenly running 5km a day, 6 days a week. It’s unrealistic and you’re going to feel discouraged.

If your plan is to lose weight, set a realistic weight loss target – not more than 10% of your current weight, at a rate of 0.5 to 1 kg a week. Once you stabilise on your new weight, you can start planning your next goal.

A reasonable goal for many people is losing 5 to 10 percent of current weight. It’s a good idea to plan to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week (0.5 to 1 kilogram) — even if your initial weight loss is a little faster in the first week or two. – Mayo Clinic

3. Make a plan

How are you going to achieve your goals? What changes are you going to make in your life? I’ve always believed that weight loss and fitness should be a lifestyle change. That means that if you can’t imagine yourself sticking to your new diet for the rest of your life, don’t do it. It’s always puzzled me how anyone expects to keep the weight off after getting off a diet of cabbage soup. Once you start eating again, the extra calories are going to have to go somewhere.

4. Make a commitment

Once you have a plan, stick to it. The hardest part will be the first month. Once it becomes a part of your regular routine, you’ll feel uncomfortable if you break it. If you think you’re going to have trouble going solo, find a partner and be accountable to each other. If you can’t find someone, join a community like My Fitness Pal.