Fitness Diaries: Find your 'why' this January
Amber Brammah is a personal trainer and founder of Lovefit, Cambridge. Mum to Milo and a pre and postnatal specialist, she helps women get back into bodies they love. Here, she explains why you need a ‘why’ this January
It’s that time of year when everyone, especially in my industry, starts looking to the year ahead. Goals are set, resolutions made, plans instated. We dream of the changes we’re going to make in 2022. But I’m still undecided on how healthy it really is to put so much pressure on what is fundamentally just another new month.
Of course, there is a natural time of reflection when we see in a new year, especially after everything we have all been through these past two years! And I do think it makes a lot of sense to spend time visualising what you want from the next 12 months. How else can we achieve our goals, if we don’t have clarity on precisely what we’re trying to achieve? But we need to be realistic. Nothing changes magically overnight. So, unless we start doing things differently, we’re not going to get different results. “If you change nothing, nothing changes” as the saying goes.
From experience, the things people typically want to change in the new year, focus on the end goal, certainly in the health fitness world: Weight-loss, being able to run a certain distance, managing X number of press-ups etc. Yet focussing on the end goal alone doesn’t pay enough attention to the process. It’s all about small changes in our actions, and creating habits (which need time, dedication, the right mindset and – most importantly – consistency). So, if the goal is weight-loss, the actions might be eating more vegetables and booking into regular fitness sessions, for example. And unless we can find enjoyment in the process (so in this example, we’d want some good recipe ideas and a fun element to our fitness), it’s hard to achieve the end goal.
It’s also easy to be downtrodden by things that didn’t go to plan in 2021 – and let’s face it, we’ve all become accustomed to having to change our plans regularly! But that’s all part of the journey, difficult though it may be. While there are likely many things from last year that you are glad to see the back of (and a frustrating sense of continued uncertainty), I think it’s important to dedicate a bit of time to looking back over the past year and acknowledging your achievements. It’s a reminder that we all have ups and downs, accomplishments and struggles, but that there are always good bits along the way. I have done this now for quite a few years and I’m always surprised by how many ‘small wins’ there have been throughout the year, even the years that have felt a bit rubbish (to put it politely).
When we start to focus on the little wins, and pay attention to what makes us smile, we get a better understanding of our why. Without a why, any changes we propose to make don’t have a real incentive. When we get really clear on our why, however, we begin to actually want to make a change. It’s like a fire is ignited deep in your belly, and taking action suddenly seems a whole lot easier.
So, what are the takeaways here?
1. Devote a little time to reflecting on the past year. Grab a notebook and jot down anything that springs to mind that went well, no matter how trivial it might seem.
2. Establish your why. Why do you think you need to lose weight? Why do you want to be able to run further / lift heavier? What’s the root cause of your desire to change.
3. Remember that you don’t have to change anything if you don’t want to.
Find out more about Amber and Lovefit at lovefittraining.com.
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