Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.
The start of a new year is often a time of reflection and planning, and provides a strong catalyst for change.
This is a good time to take stock of your health and fitness before you embark upon a new year.
Usually, New Year Resolutions fill minds across the world, only to be soon forgotten as old habits and familiar routines take hold once more. We have a more effective and powerful way of making things stick and creating lasting change.
The whole process should take around 45 minutes. There’s no need to over analyze - write down whatever comes to mind. We’re envisaging that you’re doing this in the context of your health and fitness but it can be applied to any area of your life.
Past Year Review
"We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience." - John Dewey
Before blindly looking forward, it’s important to look back and reflect on the year so that your resolutions are based on reflective insight and are more informed.
Here’s a simple process that should help;
- Grab a notepad and create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE
- Mentally run through the year (or even better, open your calendar and quickly skip through each week of the last year)
- Capture in the notepad any activities, people, events that triggered peak positive or negative feelings, adding them to the appropriate columns
- Review any health data that you may have captured and continue to build out the notepad. The following data can be insightful;
- Journal entries
- Body measurements
- Progress photos
- Calorie / food trackers
- Activity and workout tracking data
- Mood tracking information
Now that you've built a picture of your health and fitness for the year - review the notepad and reflect on;
- What activities did you do last year that had the most positive effects on your health and fitness?
- What things happened last year that most negatively affected your health?
- How much time were you spending on your mental and physical wellbeing?
- What did you focus on over the course of the year?
- How are you different between this year and last? Did your body or mindset change?
- Did you accomplish what you set out to at the start of the year? What did you achieve and how?
- What lessons have you learned this year that you can build upon next year? Come up with some ways to incorporate these lessons into your life going forward.
- Name three things you can improve on next year. What are concrete actions you can take to work towards these improvements?
- Knowing what you now know, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of the year?
New Year Planning
It’s now time to look at what’s ahead of you and plan around some new goals.
- Determine your overarching goals. What is something you, personally, would like to change about yourself or your life? Reflect on what’s holding you back and how you could change that, in small steps. (e.g. I want to lose weight)
- Make an achievable micro-resolution. To help make it stick you must make your resolutions small, concrete and realistic. If you make more than one resolution, prioritize them and take on only one at a time. (e.g. “exercise for 30 minutes every day”, “have salad with every meal")
- Create a plan to achieve these resolutions (making sure to consider the lessons learned in your reflection exercise). The plan should be simple, clear, small steps and actions to inch you closer to your goal day-by-day.
- Take the positive elements from your notepad and schedule more of them in 2018. Add them to the calendar now! Book things (even pay for things) ahead of time.
- Review your negative list and create a new “THINGS NOT TO DO LIST” and put it somewhere you’ll see each morning for the first few weeks of the New Year.
- Take a new progress photo and record those body measurements. This is your new baseline as you go into the year, and will serve as a powerful motivator as you look back on your progress.
Finally, share your goals with friends or with the Fitstream Community (using our free Body Transformation app). Without accountability partners, resolutions rarely get accomplished.