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‘I’ll start next month’ – sound familiar?
This time of year, many of us delay our health and fitness goals, using the generic ‘new year, new me’ excuse for demolishing a second selection box (definitely not speaking from experience…).
Christmas is a time for indulgence, but science says that we should start preparing for the new year before January 1st.
A study from the University of Pennsylvania found that setting goals based upon temporal landmarks lead to us disassociating the present (e.g. Eating your 4th mince pie) from the future (e.g. Living off of kale smoothies and going for a run before work).
The disassociation leads to us believing we can do better and putting a lot of pressure on our future selves, despite no research showing that there is an optimal time to make changes.
The problem with setting a date to turn your life around is that our brain feels uncomfortable when we give it too much to deal with all at once and therefore something has to offer.
Our brains cannot detect the priority, which explains why less than 50% of us will actually stick to their new year's resolutions.
How can we deal with this?
By beginning to set yourself short-term, realistic goals in December, you will find that by the time it comes to January 1st, you’re a lot more prepared both mentally and physically to achieve your goals.
Rather than approaching January 1st with the mindset that you have to pay for the fitness sins committed in December, by beginning to work towards your goals throughout this month, you are likely to feel a lot more motivated.
Goals take time and perseverance and so beginning earlier will make adjusting to your new lifestyle a lot easier to digest.
Want to get started on your fitness journey but need to get yourself a killer gym outfit?
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See you right back here tomorrow for more BLOGMAS (and you might just find out what we've got in store for the 25th... who knows!)
WINNER: Dionne Phelan