One of the first posts I wrote for this blog was about motivation, and how easy it can be to find yourself facing another birthday before realising time’s been flying by but nothing’s changed in your life.
That post (read it here) focused on the idea of setting goals and maximising your achievements by breaking your life down into 100-day segments, something that I wanted to share as it has really worked for me.
So, I thought now might be a good time to revisit that idea and nudge you with some motivation for your Christmas and New Year prep because, alarmingly, we’re now into the last 100 days of 2015.
For most of us, the festive season is the time we want to look and feel good. It also means plenty of eating, drinking – and probably not exercising too much for a couple of weeks. If you want to look fab in your New Year’s Eve outfit (which is unlikely to be leggings and a jumper), you need to start getting into shape now – whether that’s dropping a dress size or targeting specific areas you want to tone up.
So, it’s time to start and focus. The best way to do this is to write down what you want to achieve. Be realistic, but push yourself. Then break that main goal down into stages. Give yourself mini targets within the 100 days (actually it’s 95) and map out these next few weeks on a calendar. Printing off your Hotmail or Outlook calendar is a good idea or there are some fab free downloadable planners online like the one below – that way you can see if you start to stray from your plan, and you can also see Christmas and New Year getting closer!
Write down the days you’ll exercise each week and what you’ll do. Try and vary the types of exercise so you get a good combination of cardio and toning as this will help to maximise results and keep you more interested than doing the same activity over and over (brisk walking, weights, circuit training, yoga, running, and swimming are all good examples).
Whatever level you start from, plan to gradually increase the total time you work out each week, either by extending your sessions or fitting in another one (but do have rest days). Complement your exercise with healthy eating; increase steamed veg and protein like quorn, (or white meat and fish if you’re not veggie), and reduce take-aways, sweets and processed food. I mean really reduce them. Like, none.
Make a note of what you do each day to keep yourself motivated, and inspire yourself by visualising how you will look – and feel – when you reach that goal. It will feel amazing. If you’re tempted to slack off from your plan, really imagine how you’ll regret it a few weeks down the line. In those moments of weakness, stop for one moment and ask yourself, ‘How will what I’m about to do contribute to my goal?’ That can be enough to jolt you into sticking on your trainers and working out, or to persuade you to call off that trip to the crisps and chocolate vending machine at work.
And don’t forget to schedule in time in December for the things that’ll make you feel even more confident; hair, eyebrows, lashes, nails, tan. Whether you do them yourself or go to a salon, they’re the easy bits – the quick wins – but you’ll feel so much better knowing you’ve earned them.
And then enjoy yourself! A whole new 100 days starts on 1st January and you’ll have mastered it by then.