The first Monday of a new year always seems to be the start of many people’s new year resolutions and> in particular the New Year health kick! Already I have seen numerous statuses and> tweets about detoxes and> diets that start today and> already people falling off the wagon as they put it. Don’t fall into this trap! Yes the New Year is a great time to draw a line under the past and> especially the Christmas Indulgences, but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Make this year different, make changes for life not just for January! I truly believe that Health is a lifestyle and> a journey, there is no end point it is something that you to work towards for life – this is not to say you can’t have goals and> aims but they shouldn’t represent an end point as such. This is what leads to yo-yo dieting and> is extremely detrimental to your health.

I posted a photo on Facebook recently that stated “Don’t focus on being skinny, if you clean up your diet and> exercise regularly your weight will take care of itself!” and> this is what I want to focus on in this post. Make your goals and> aims for this year around health and> fitness, you will start to see differences in your body and> feel happier and> healthier. So what are my tips on setting these goals:

1. Try not to focus solely on the scales, if you want to have a physical measurement to aim for focus on measurements I tell a lot of my clients that the Scales lie and> I genuinely believe they do! There are so many different variables when it comes to those pesky numbers on the scales. These include hormones, what you ate, exercise, lack of sleep & whether you’ve been to the toilet can even be a factor. Measurements can be much more accurate. Or find a pair of trousers or a skirt that doesn’t quite fit and> use that as a measure. If you fit into it you must have been doing something right. Your body composition/shape may change even if the scales don’t.

2. Don’t focus on what you can’t eat but what you can eat. Rather than saying I will never touch chocolate again or have a glass of wine, focus on the foods you can eat. I will have a new smoothie every week. I will eat more fruit. I will try a new healthy recipe every month, maybe finding alternatives to the healthy takeaways you enjoy. Drinking a mug of warm water and> lemon everyday! I don’t like to focus on the things I can’t eat, and> I don’t like restrictive diets, if chocolate is your thing – find a way to include this – or find healthy alternatives (Sweet Potato Chocolate Brownies are a favourite of mine!).

3. Set yourself fitness goals rather than weight loss goals, the possibilities are endless with this one! As simple as I will go to the gym 3 times a week, I will run/cycle/swim 3 times a week. I will try different types of exercise, join a sports club. Enter a fitness challenge (5km Run/Tough Mudder/Marathon/Triathlon) Or they could be more specific I will complete 10km in under an hour, I will squat my bodyweight, I will be able to complete 1 full pull up.

4. Make sure any goal you set is Realistic and> Achievable – If you have never run before it is unlikely you will complete a marathon in February in under 4 hours, unless you find you have a major talent for it maybe. Don’t set yourself up to fail, reaching goals is a massive motivator so it needs to be challenging but something you can achieve with hard work and> dedication. These also need to have a time limit to truly be classed as a goal – a month/6 weeks/the year – whatever makes it achievable for you.

5. Finally don’t let slip ups completely knock you off track, think of the journey and> stay in it for the long haul. Get out of the mindset of Oh I’ve ruined my good eating today, I’ll just forget about it and> keep eating crap! It’s like saying, I’ve dropped my phone – I’ll just continue to smash it until it breaks! Draw a line under any set backs straight away and> keep going. Once you’ve reached these goals set new ones, and> so on and> so on.

I really hope I can inspire people to focus more on the health and> fitness side of things, than solely on their weight – Health really should be the ultimate goal and> looking good is a by product of that. It may feel like a slower process than the quick fix detoxes and> juice diets, but ultimately you will be making changes you can sustain for life and> not just January!

I would love to hear from you on your goals for 2015, you can tweet me @ode2fitness or message me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ode2fitness) – Stay Healthy!