Sean Van Staden
Columnist
3 minute read
12 Apr 2014
8:00 am

Have you kept to your fitness resolutions?

Sean Van Staden

We are a quarter of the way through the year and the most important question I need to ask you is: "Have you kept to your New Year's resolution? Have you kept to your new diet and have you increased your training routine?"

Sean van Staden

If the answer is yes, then I take my hat off to you because you are the rare lucky one who has taken action and stuck to it.

If you are the unlucky one caught up with procrastination, work, life and the very original excuse that the reason you could not do your gym work was because your dog ate your written programme, then I am afraid it’s time I bring out the wooden stick. Why are you procrastinating?

Harvard Medical School sees the process of change happening in stages.

The first stage is the pre-contemplation stage, where you have have made no conscious decisions to make any changes to your life. You know your family has been plagued by poor cholesterol and relate it to genetics. It’s only when outside influences such as public information spark the thought that a better lifestyle is the way to go about it.

The next stage is the contemplation stage where you are toying with the idea to take action but have not done so yet. Whatever your reasons, you need to weigh up the pros and cons by writing down a list. This has shown great results, according to Harvard Medical School, to help illustrate the importance of taking action.

You will now be moving into the preparation stage. This stage is where decide to to get all your ducks in a row. If losing weight is your goal then you have made the commitment of taking out a gym contract, bought new gym attire and gone for the pre examination fitness testing.

You are ready to rock with your new programme and you have consciously made the mental steps that you are ready to take action.

The action phase is when you are now physically active, training no less than three times a week and are starting to see signs of weight loss. During this stage it is important to self reflect each day and make sure your goals are clear and in plane sight.

In order to help keep you motivated, you can look to a support group where you can share your positive triumphs and failures. If you don’t have someone to bounce ideas off, perhaps look to a personal trainer once a week to keep you motivate and your energy levels high.

The final phase comes when you are six months into your routine and a new habit has been formed. It is not something you do every now and then, but has become a part of your life and weekly routine.

During this phase you are now ready for experimenting with new things in your weight loss quest. Just make sure that you make subtle changes to your programme and no drastic overhauls. It is important to understand which stage your are in and understand where you need to be in order for positive change to begin. Perhaps you need to see change not as a destination but rather as a process.

Keep your spirits high and rely on a good support system. The rest will take care of itself.