Another year is coming to a close, and of course the topic of New Year’s resolution is starting to become trending. It’s certainly a great thing to start with goal setting and plan structuring a bit early in order to assure the outcome you truly seek, however, it’s equally important to take note of what did and did not work for your health and fitness goals last year.
Regardless of whether you are aiming to make huge health and fitness changes for the better, or simply carry on with the success you’ve managed to accumulate, you’ll want to implement some new habits and patterns that will help you along the way.
So, without any further ado let’s take a look at these 10 tips that will help you start the new year off on the right foot.
Set Realistic Goals
We all want to become the best version of our self in the following year, however putting too many unrealistic things on our mind can be truly unproductive. Try to create simple and achievable goals at the begging, move towards them and accomplish them. Then set new goals that will be more complex. Having this form of thinking will allow you to progress in the long-run. "You can't get a 10+hr training per week body, doing 2 hrs of training per week."
A well-rounded training program is definitely the most essential part of your health journey. Although many believe that doing more is always better, science proves quite the opposite (1). The mistake of training too much is an issue that we face often, and this one you need to avoid at all cost. Instead of spending hours and hours at the gym, decrease the time you spend working out and increase the efficiency you perform you’re exercises. This will boost recovery and results.
Working out regularly creates a habit which we subconsciously follow every time we go to the gym. This may not seem as a bad thing, but doing the same old exercises, reps and sets can have a serious negative impact on your physique and performance. The human body is designed to adapt itself to any situation we put it in, and by performing one form of exercise frequently can stun growth and progress. For this reason it is detrimental to change your training style every 2-3 months, which means you should alter your exercises and the way you perform them. A switch from traditional strength training to certain cardio exercises can be also beneficial, depending on the individual goals.
Having a solid knowledge on the numbers you are currently doing in the gym is vital for a steady progress. Write down the volume and weight you are currently able to perform, and try to increase these numbers over time. By doing so you will apply the most important factor responsible for development called progressive overload (2).
Use Flexible Dieting
Watching your macros and weighing each gram you consume is not the right approach to dieting. Being too strict with your eating regime is simply not sustainable in the long run. You don’t have to eat boiled chicken and broccoli every day in order to be lean and muscular. Having a piece of chocolate or cake once in a while will really do you no harm, and using this approach will allow you to stay on track long-term.
Overtime, the human body can develop a problem of toxin buildup due to our environmental exposure, genetically modified food, pharmaceuticals, and other drugs. Luckily, this issue can be solved with a simple home detoxification process that you should definitely try. The process is fairly simple and only includes a few simple steps. The first step is to incorporate intermittent fasting in your routine, meaning that you should only consume food in a certain time period. Start with an 8 hour fast, which means that you will consume all your daily calories in this 8 hour feeding window. Research has proven that fasting increases growth hormone production as well as testosterone levels. Second of all, you should drink at least 1 gallon of water per day, this will help your body to flush out toxins. And lastly, aim to consume 3-5 servings of vegetables per day, giving the body the necessary vitamins and minerals which we often neglect.
Eat Healthy Fats
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are extremely essential for our health. Adding these fats in your diet plan can have extraordinary benefits on cognition, cardiovascular health, skin, lungs, and so on (3). Foods that are rich in these fatty acids include sardines, tuna, salmon, walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, and others.
Did you know that our body only develops new muscle at sleep? Yes, this fact is actually true. For this reason it is highly important to have an accurately structured sleeping schedule that is going to allow your body to rest and recover properly. Aim to start your sleeping cycle at 10pm, by going to bed this early will promote melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that recovers and regenerates the body. By doing this you will also wake up early feeling refreshed and energized.
Get a Workout Buddy
If you’re lacking the necessary motivation, or you simply want to squeeze more out of every workout you perform, then one of the smartest moves you can make is to get a workout partner. Having the right workout buddy can in fact often transform mediocre results into incredible ones. Find a person that has similar health and fitness goals as you, and workout together. This will not only motivate you to train harder, but it will also boost your willpower.
Being disciplined and leading a healthy lifestyle can be tough. No one is a machine and every one of us needs a pat on the back every once in a while. By achieving your goals, one by one, you are absolutely entitled to receive a reward. How you construct your reward is entirely personal, it could be a huge cheat meal, a new pair of shoes, or a night out with your friends. Just remember that an occasional planned break from any disciplined regime can be vital for both the mind and the body.
And there you have it, by just following these simple rules you’ll receive the key foundation for making any program, whatever time of year you decide to implement it, an absolute success.