So now that Christmas and New Year are firmly in the rear view mirror, perhaps it’s time to revisit and re-evaluate those New Year’s goals and resolutions? Re-evaluating your current position may give clarity, allow you to refocus and leap into Spring with some newfound focus!
The New Year often sees people full of motivation and enthusiasm. Their resolutions are being fulfilled, they are exercising, eating, drinking and sleeping well and are feeling great overall. However, now six weeks into 2018, often this energy dissipates causing people to revert back to old habits. As a result, some struggle making the progress they envisaged themselves making and may give up.
In this short post, McNulty Performance aim to provide you with some suggestions on how to ensure you avoid falling victim to the New Year’s trap! Very simply, in order to bring about and sustain lasting change, we need to look to 5 simple areas and do these consistently well 90% of the time. Each of these factors do not work in isolation but rather interlink, feeding into each other in order to bring about lasting change. These are:
1) Sleep – Routine is key here. Repetition of good sleeping habits brings adaptation and routine. Setting aside a minimum of seven to eight hours per day to ensure you get good quality sleep in a cool and calm environment is paramount.
2) Nutrition – Consistently eating whole foods 90% of the time brings adaptation and sustainability.
3) Hydration – making sure you are drinking a minimum of 2 litres of water each day ensures you are consistently nailing your hydration.
4) Exercise – Exercise and recovery are interconnected with the aforementioned sleep, nutrition and hydration. Exercise should not be a means of compensating for poor nutritional choices. By the same token, depriving yourself is not the way to go either. Instead, balance is the key as we aim to consume enough food to match our activity. 60 minutes of moderate exercise, 5 days per week or 2/3 days of intense exercise, with a simple but familiar program, allows you to maintain consistency and push your intensity.
5) Recovery – Often neglected, recovery is imperative in sustaining any lifestyle change. The methods by which we work this into our programmes varies greatly and should take the form of whatever works for you personally. By taking a swim, steam room or sauna, we are recovering. By refueling with nutrient dense food (such as half an avocado, some mixed berries and a scoop of protein powder, blended in a smoothie) within thirty minutes of exercise, we are recovering. By engaging in a yoga class, going for an easy walk or bike ride with our family, we are recovering.
Aristotle once said, “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”. This is certainly true when it comes to our lifestyle. Do we eat because we want to or because we need to? Do we burn the candle at both ends by not getting enough sleep and complain about our energy? In an age of the complexity which we live in; often it is brilliant basics of structure and familiarity which bring about sought after results. Ultimately, doing the simple things consistently well will ensure we sustain the change we set out wanting to accomplish.
Making sure we have a good structure in place with routines will ensure we do the simple things consistently well, not just for January, but for life; which is the ultimate goal.
The McNulty Performance Team.