Research details that only 8 per cent of New Year's resolutions become a reality. So, as I peer into my crystal ball, I see most Australians behaving over the next fortnight as follows:
Today, 19 December 2018: "I'll get through party season, then I'm going to lose that weight."
Tuesday, 1 January 2019: "Woah. I'm feeling rough. Next Monday is a better day to start."
Monday, 7 January 2019: "A healthy food / motivated gym Day 1 of Diet Plan XYZ was had."
By first day back at work, the text message reads "Fancy some drinks and cheeky meal for a post-holiday catch up?"
Then the weekend arrives, and your New Year's Resolution Weight Loss Wish becomes a distant memory – again. Why? You're body is a business, and a business sets some monthly goals then reaps the rewards.
Here's a 2019 calendar of action:
Commit to portion control. Cutting portions by a third is the simplest calorie cutting move in the game. Our morning smoothies and restaurants meals are too big, and our meals at home (with seconds) are American-esque. Consume less - you're not a labrador.
Commit to (less) trends. By mid-February, diets will all be the rage in the magazines and morning talk shows. You'll hear "Keto" and "Gut Health" often – ignore them. A healthier you is still about more fruit and veggies, smaller portions, more fish and less meat while moving your body and putting down the wine glass.
Commit to trackable movement. Every day move +10,000 steps, or sprint 100 metres 20 times. Skip rope for 2000 repetitions, or run up 1000 steps. Do something and track it daily. Mum is a mid-70s cancer crusher, and on 15 September 2010 she committed to tracking her push ups. Her journal count as of today is 269,455 push ups. If she can do it, what can you do?
Commit to building muscle. Cardio alone doesn't cut it. A study of +65 year old's showed that those that do some strength training were 46 per cent less likely to die over the observed timeframe. Lift weights to build a better frame, burn even more calories, and also to extend / build a better quality of life.
Commit to a new morning routine. Imagine turning a coffee and muffin routine into one where you do five rounds of 15 push ups, squats, sit ups after drinking a huge glass of water. Add some green vegetables into your breakfast, and a new routine can change your energy for the entire day.
Commit to a challenge. Enter something… like an ocean swim or a 10 kilometre race. Grab mates and enter an obstacle race or a tennis competition. Do something physical that gets the competitive juices flowing.
Commit to fruit and veggies. This statistic is embarrassing: less than 10 per cent of Australians eat the recommended amount of fruit and veggies. We cheer for Aussie farmers but don't buy from them. This must change.
Commit to less junk. A daily bottle of cola and small chocolate bar is almost 15,000 calories / 61,000 kilojoules over a month. By eliminating just a few junk food items out of your daily routine, you'll transition from a child in a sweet shop to an adult.
Commit to European eating. Put down the gadgets, eat slowly (your brain receives the message that you're full sooner) with your family at a table, and enjoy the sense of community. Instead of hitting the couch and streaming movies, go for a 30 minute night time walk with the pooch and loved ones – it's a scientifically proven way to drop kilograms.
Commit to resting up. Research by The Sleep Health Foundation reveals sleep disorders cost the Australian economy $5 billion per year (another $31.4 billion in reduction of life quality). Whether you choose meditation and / or +7.5 hours or sleep, rest is your answer to release anxiety and repair muscles while decreasing the risk of chronic illness.
Commit to less booze. A boozy night is enormous calories consumed leading to late night eating then poor sleep and zero morning exercise. Hair of the dog with a fatty, salty lunch is typically the next step, then the cycle repeats. Like portion control, Australians need some (self) booze control.
Commit to consistency and patience. I look at the chronology from above and believe January through November can be adopted soon after the New Year. In three months, you'll be healthier, happier, lighter, and looking better. In six months, you'll be a new person. By December, with commitment and patience? You'll wonder why you didn't start years ago.
In January 2019, don't just say "I'm going to lose weight." - that's pie-in-the-sky dreaming. Write down monthly goals, commit to them, and then execute on a plan.
A goal without a plan is just a wish. Stop wishing and make 2019 the year of healthy doing.
Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his "Cut The BS" diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.
Think you can you keep up the fitness momentum in 2019? Share your goals in the comments section below.