What’s the longest you’ve kept a New Year’s resolution? More than a month? For one in five individuals in the UK setting these new goals, their resolutions are likely to last less than one month.

We usually set our New Year’s resolutions whilst indulging in Christmas treats with a glass of something fizzy. But, by the time Valentine’s Day comes around, things have usually changed. I’m Coach Cei, a Cardiff-based pre and post-natal personal trainer, here to provide some insight into how we can make these goals more sustainable and long-term.

Image: @coachcei

Every year we see it: gyms full of new members, people signing up for online diet plans, resolutions to not eat any chocolate or to have a sober January, in the hope of shedding the ‘Christmas pounds’. All of this makes us hate the start of the year; we’re probably still feeling the financial weight from Christmas and the weather can be awful, which means we’re feeling down and not always motivated to get our “fitness goals” in check. 

SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is at a high in winter months and it’s not surprising in the UK as after Christmas especially, it feels as though there isn’t much to look forward to. Not only that, but last month we had that added pressure of “New Year’s resolutions” and social media full of personal trainers asking “What are your goals?!”. My personal goals as a mum this year are to sleep more and have less mess in my house!

So, how do we get out of the ‘rut’ of feeling down after the excitement of Christmas and how do we change our mindset when it comes to weight loss and fitness in 2024 and beyond?

Here’s how I get my clients to look at it…

  1. To put on 1lb of body fat, you need to eat over 3,500 calories in a day, and apart from the occasional day or 2 at Christmas, I doubt many of you are achieving that. Try just going back to a food routine that suits you and you’ll probably feel better already after a few days. Don’t restrict yourself either, it’s all about being sustainable and realistic!
  1. The reason we feel sluggish isn’t because we’ve piled on the pounds over Christmas; it’s because we haven’t been moving and have probably over-consumed alcohol and under-consumed water in December. Just try upping your steps and drinking more water!
  1. You’re probably slightly burnt out. I know as a mum, I am shattered after a busy end to 2023. It’s stressful for us from the minute Halloween ends to when our kids are back in school in January, so no wonder we feel rubbish. We’ve had late night after late night and the kids have been wired for months. Find yourself a routine of early nights and some of that burnout should subside. 
  1. Join a class or a group rather than a gym if fitness is something you want to improve. Being a newbie in the gym at the start of the year is horrible. The gyms are rammed, we end up just jumping on a treadmill because we’re nervous about using equipment we haven’t used before, and members of staff are hard to find as they’re all doing new member signups. Go with a friend and put that class in your calendar. It’s harder to not go when you feel you’re letting your friend down and you’ll feel a sense of camaraderie with the other class members. This will soon feel like a hobby more than a chore.
  1. Don’t set too many goals. Be realistic and focus on one, hit it and then move on. Quitting smoking, cutting down on snacks, joining a gym, walking more, drinking 3 litres of water per day and getting a promotion all by April is far too unrealistic. Do one at a time and give yourself time. 

If you’re looking to work out in a safe, enclosed environment with other like-minded mums who want to lose weight, get fit or get stronger, visit my Instagram page for more details and information on how to book.

Author WCS

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