The ghost of Christmas…..past, present and future - planning and goals

As 2015 draws to a close and an Olympic year looms, perhaps now is the right time to take stock of your fitness and wellbeing.  Try not to let the ghosts of (Christmas) past failures haunt you; ensure your perception of your (Christmas) present level of fitness is accurate, fair and positive; and, set yourself up for a (Christmas) future that is as healthy and happy as possible.

Did you set yourself any health & fitness targets during 2015?
If so, have you met, achieved or excelled in any or all of them?

How did you make yourself accountable to achieve them?
– What strategies did you employ: exercising with a buddy; joining and using a gym; buying a bike; joining a sports club; working with a personal trainer?

What kept you on track during the year when life & business got in the way?
Did you see your blood pressure readings, body fat percentages or resting heart rate reduce?  Did you manage to get into that pair of trousers or dress for your holidays or party?  Were you able to cope with stressful situations better?

How did you get on with your plan of eating healthily and sleeping properly?
Did you plan your weeks meals – brekkie, lunch and dinner…make a list and shop in advance? Did you pre-cook portions to freeze?  Did you eat protein with breakfast to make you fuller for longer?  Have you drunk a glass of water before you reached for an unhealthy snack?

Finding the right way to include exercise in your life will help you move towards that balanced new you.  It can be very challenging to drag yourself to the gym early in the morning or at the end of a long hard day.  So you need to find the right activity that makes you smile lots, burn fat, and makes you want to go back for more to continue seeing and feeling the benefits.

Sports and team based activities are perhaps an option for some people.  But if you don’t have the time to commit to matches at the weekend, as well as the organised evening training sessions, then you may struggle to keep going.  Participating in a non-competitive activity, such as hiking, salsa dancing or horse riding may also help motivate you to be more active outside of your working life.

How many times have you invested in a membership of a facility during the first week of the new year only to find that within a couple of weeks your enthusiasm has waned and you feel all the more disillusioned?  The ‘New Year New You’ concept that involves cutting out absolutely everything to achieve rapid weight loss is set for failure from the off as it is not representative of a realistic lifestyle change that you can maintain going forward.

As we approach the year of the Rio Olympics, take stock of what motivates you to achieve optimum health and fitness.  Do you have grandchildren or perhaps a young family at home to keep up with?  A stressed and pressurised, yet exciting working environment?  A recent health scare that makes you want to turn around the habits of the past few years?  Once you know what makes you want to be healthy and fit you can then work towards it and move away from the negatives associated with your former lifestyle.

One of the most effective ways of working towards your motivators is to commit to working with a personal trainer for as few as 10 weeks.  By making the connection with a qualified fitness professional and sharing your aspirations and the challenges you face, you will find that you start to achieve more with your fitness.  Having a series of planned appointments in your diary will help raise the priority of your fitness to the same level as an important meeting at work.  You will have someone on your shoulder encouraging you to do more with your fitness.  They will ask you to work harder than you ever thought possible and teach you techniques that you can take into your home based fitness routines that will help you to move towards your goals.  So before you repeat the habit of a Ghost of Christmas past, take a journey with your Ghost of Christmas future to see what accountability, focus and motivation can truly help you achieve.  It could just be the best Ghost of Christmas present you could ever invest in yourself and or a loved one.


"They helped me set realistic goals, with challenging yet achievable milestones" Susanne

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