As we navigate the winter months, Lauren St Hilaire, one of our This Girl Can Classes fitness instructors, brings you practical tips on staying motivated to conquer your New Year’s resolutions in January.
Picture the scene…you’ve just had Christmas and New Year, you may have over-indulged, you may be feeling lethargic, you’re now looking to 2024 with a fresh start! You’re thinking ‘this is the year’, hit the gym 5 times a week, cut down on my caffeine, increase my daily steps and eat my 7 portions of fruit and veg each day!
However…you may find you get to the 2nd, 3rd, maybe 4th week of January and motivation is starting to decrease, the goals you maybe initially thought were possible, are looking less achievable, which may result in lower self-confidence and motivation. Here are some tips and insights about a healthier approach to your New Year goals, motivating you to keep doing the amazing work that you are!
Goals are great! They motivate us, they keep us focused on the result, and give us clear deadlines to work towards. However, if not planned carefully, some goals can have the opposite effect on us. Try and aim to set both short and long-term goals. Short-term goals can be anything from the next couple of days or weeks, for example, ‘I am going to book onto my weekly This Girl Can Class’. Short-term goals will help maintain your motivation whilst driving towards your long-term goal.
Your long-term goal is looking at the bigger picture and can be what you would like to achieve in the next 3-6 months or even in a year for example, ‘I want to regularly exercise 3 times a week, or I want to be able to achieve a full press-up’. These goals do not happen overnight, they take time, patience, and consistency.
Setting realistic and achievable goals
As New Year is on the horizon, you may think you want to go big or go home, right?! Setting a goal which is unrealistic to achieve in the timeframe you may have set will put too much pressure on yourself. This can in turn decrease the element of fun in your exercise routine, make it more of a chore rather than something you like to do, and cause you extra stress.
- I would advise to start small and increase as the year goes on. For example, I’m going to find time to exercise once a week. This may be a walk, a This Girl Can Class or a trip to your local gym. If you haven’t started exercising yet, allow your body time to adapt as your fitness improves. If you are already exercising, you may want to increase, for example, I’m going to attend a This Girl Can Class and I’m going to swim once a week.
- Be kind to yourself when setting your New Year goals. Rome wasn’t built in a day and from my professional experience, new habits that are able to slot into everyday life are ones that are likely to stay longer-term. For example, I’m going to cut my caffeine down by cutting out one cup of tea a day.
- Make sure your goals actually motivate and excite you! Ask yourself the reasons behind the goals you are setting, if you’re doing something that you want to do rather than feel you should, you will more likely stay motivated to achieve them.
Explore the benefits of exercise
Try and focus on what else you will get out of your goal for example:
- Social community
- Increased confidence
- Stronger body
- Time for yourself
If you leave a This Girl Can Class having had achieved at least one of the above, success!
Choose an activity that you enjoy
You may be a complete novice to exercise and as a This Girl Can Classes instructor and Master Trainer, I am here to reassure you that you are in a safe space. We provide a supportive and fun environment for you to let off steam. There are no judgments, no comparisons, we are about women supporting women feeling good about themselves!
If you have been attending This Girl Can Classes regularly and find that your fitness is plateauing, then speak with your experienced instructor – it may be time for you to mix it up a little and push yourself out of your comfort zone again. It may be that your instructor can mix up the blocks of exercise to change the intensity or you may be ready to increase the number of sessions you do each week. We, as instructors, are here to support everyone at every level.
So my final advice as we go into the New Year:
- Have fun with your exercise
- Be kind to yourself during the process
- Praise yourself for your good work!
Hi, I’m Lauren St Hilaire, founder of St Hilaire Fitness & Nutrition. I have taught group exercise for the last 16 years teaching a variety of classes including circuit training, toning and strength, core stability, boxercise, pre and post-natal exercise and of course, This Girl Can Classes. I am also a qualified teacher, specialising in primary education and sport. I currently work all over Bedford teaching group exercise, personal training, nutrition coaching and running around after my 2 young children. My ethos is very much based around “Exercise is for everybody”. No matter your age, fitness level, gender etc. there is something for everybody!