January 6, 2020

2020-Getting going again!

Its Monday,cold,wet and windy and its also the 6th of January.Its a time of the year for a lot of us including myself which can be a testing time in many ways.Physically it can be challenging getting going again after the Christmas period which for me including lots of nights out,good food and drink,limited exercise and so on but hey for me thats what Christmas is all about-enjoying yourself with family and friends!Mentally too it can be a testing time of the year.The thought of starting again with your job,goals or maybe just the thought of getting your life going again for 2020 aiming to try and make it that bit better than last year.

As I continue to tell myself and my clients at this time of the year,its always the initial build up that is the hardest obstacle to overcome and once you do that and keep the head down your well and truly on the right track for a good year ahead.Today, I’m going to outline the best approach to go about setting your goals for 2020, and help you stay on track in the long run.

  • Sit down,review and write up your goals

It sounds very simple but I guarantee you a lot of us don’t do this.This week I encourage you to find some time and sit down with a pen and paper and list down goals that YOU  want to work towards and achieve this year.I always like to look back on the year previous on break down what went well,what could have went better and pinpoint certain areas to work towards for the year ahead.I am a big believer in writing down your goals as for me,its almost like a contract to myself and a reminder to glance at to keep me on track in getting after those targets.

  • Avoid going ALL IN and start small

This is the time of the year we start to see people going with the ALL IN or nothing approach.Everything and anything is taken up from dry January,zero to hero workouts,full detoxes to cold turkey approaches with a lot of their choices.First of all,let me say that its great that you have the goals, drive and motivation initially but a lot of the time going into the deep end too early can only lead us to falling off the wagon in a few weeks.The best option here is to take it steady and build yourself back up taking it one step forward at a time.

  • Choice the right path

Its your goal and avoid going with the crowd on this one.If you’re setting a goal for yourself, make the journey something that you’ll actually enjoy. Time and time again I see the same goals appearing each January and come March they are nowhere to be seen.

Many will walk into a commercial gym in January and sign up for their 12-month special offer. Having worked in these gyms, I have seen many people follow this path and come March a lot of them are nowhere to be seen.

It is great that you have a goal to get fit and want to improve your health but my advice is to look at the different avenues out there before going down this route — you don’t always need a gym to improve your health and fitness.

The options now are endless — hikes, running, walks, biking or swimming to even a variety of clubs from yoga, pilates, running clubs to the endless amount of small studios and local clubs dotted around the country offering plenty of activities.

  • Get your basics right again

Prior to the Christmas season you more than likely were on better track in general.Personally I was in a good routine of work,sleep,exercise and overall living a good lifestyle.However the Christmas period can peal and chip away at that a little so my advice is to get back on track and get the basics right again.It may be a little challenging initially but once you have a few days under belt you will be well back in control again.

Water – I recommend starting your day with a glass of water and shooting for a total daily intake of 2.5-4 litres, depending on the individual.

Food – The 70/30 or even 60/40 approach was perhaps what we all went for the last few weeks which gave a little more leeway to enjoy the nice treats over the festive period. At this stage most of us are sick of eating Christmas food and ready to get back on track. My advice is to clean up the diet and get on the 80/20 approach. I have written about this before and you can find all that information here.

Sleep – This is another pretty basic rule that people need to focus on. It is an area that lets down many when chasing their fitness goals. Believe or not, it’s not the training or food plan you’re on that is not always working, a lot of the time it’s the fact you’re not getting the basics right first. Getting at least eight hours of sleep every night is one of the fundamental rules when it comes to having a healthy lifestyle.

As I close off my first article for the 2020 year I’d like to finish by wishing you a very happy and healthy new year ahead. I really have appreciated you reading my column and taking an interest in my content and I look forward to continuing to help you out with advice in 2020

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information, you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.