As featured in this week’s edition of the Limerick Leader newspaper.
New Year can be a time of immense motivation and commitment, as we emerge from the replenishing Christmas period with a profound sense of vigour and anticipation. It is important to allow this enthusiasm to lead us down the right path in January. In this brief article we unpack some key considerations as you approach your training in the New Year.
- Set Goals instead of Resolutions
While this may appear to be a mere matter of semantics, the difference between the two concepts is essential to bear in mind. A resolution assumes that the subject matter in question is almost entirely within our control, whereas the reality is that most of the things that are worth pursuing in life come with challenges. By viewing our aspirations as goals instead of resolutions, we are far more likely to follow through on them when faced with adversity.
- Set Goals which are SMART
As with all goals, those which you set for 2023 should be Specific, Measured, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound (SMART). Also, aim to set both short- and medium-term goals, with the former providing a stepping stone towards the latter. Avoid goals which are excessively vague, and be sure to include target races or events.
- Use the New Year as an Opportunity to Establish and Reinforce Healthy Habits and Routines
Healthy practices are most easily implemented during periods where your motivation levels are high. Therefore, instead of setting grandiose targets, you can derive the most benefit from implementing simple routines which can help to bring out the best in you. Similarly, you can use the turn of a new year to re-establish healthy habits which may have slipped during the previous 12 months.
- Join a Community
Becoming part of a culture where your desired behaviour is the normal behaviour can be a really effective tool to help you realise your goals. When you are surrounded by motivated people, you are far more likely to consider fitness and the pursuit of health to be common habits.
- Beware of Doing Too Much Too Soon
New Year enthusiasm can lead us to undertake a greater level of activity than we regularly engage in, while some of the highest rates of injury and illness occur in the second half of January. Consequently, we always need to be mindful that we do not increase our training load by too much within a short period of time. This is especially so if you reduced your training load over the Christmas period. If you enjoyed your Christmas then be sure to ease your way into 2023.
- Invest in Yourself
January and February often witness the worst weather of the year. Ensure that you are adequately prepared to train outdoors by investing in appropriate and good quality training attire. Similarly, allow yourself to recover adequately from training and keep unwanted illness at bay by investing in the best quality food that your budget can afford.
- Do something Different
Variety is the spice of life and there is no better time to try something different than at the start of a new year. Become the very best version of yourself by attempting something which excites, challenges or even scares you a little.