“All big things come from small beginnings” – James Clear
January is generally a time to reflect on the year just gone and look forward with positivity to the year ahead. Many of set new year resolutions or intentions, to help give us focus and purpose. I have not always been a fan of resolutions as they can be negative, when three weeks into January we give up because we have not seen any progress. I have always been active, as a teenager I ran and ran, I was also lucky enough to try badminton and later on golf. Whilst I was not a big fan of school sports, I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to try other things – some formed part of my resolutions in my late teens and early twenties.
With an increased focus on mental wellbeing this year, exercise without doubt plays a key part in keeping fit, well and helping us remain resilient – not just physically but mentally too. As a Pilates instructor, of course I suggest that Pilates should help you with that and be included as one of your resolutions to ensure you stick to it thought out the year. There are many benefits as to why Pilates should be included in one of your new year resolutions, Pilates will help you to: strengthens your core; work your full body; is low impact; will help you to manage stress and will help you reduce, manage or get rid of pain.
Pilates alongside yoga is one of those brilliant forms of movement which helps you to boost the strength in your body, plus it will support you improving at other sports as well. As well as a Pilates instructor, I am also an amateur golfer and the benefits I see that Pilates has on my game is huge. So if we are going to set intentions for the year ahead, where should we start?
1. Acknowledge your successes
When we start to look forward, it is important that we take time to reflect and acknowledge what successes we have. Whilst at the start of a new year the focus is very often on what we will change or do differently – to become fitter, healthier, more financially secure, better parents, better friends, etc. It is just as important to recognise “I did this well” or “I achieved these things this year”. What if our resolution was to just do more of the same? That is OK to.
2. Why do you want to make new year resolutions?
A recent You Gov poll shows that nearly a quarter of Britons fail at their new year resolutions, before we think about why that maybe, consider why we wish to make a resolution in the first place? What is our motivating factor to change? Once we understand that, we may again wish to make different choices.
3. Be Specific
Whenever you are setting goals or intentions, we encourage people to be specific about what they wish to achieve. It is not very helpful to just say “I want to be fitter or healthier”, the next question is how are you going to do that? How do you know if you have been successful or not? If you were to say for example “I wish to become fitter, to achieve that, I am going to join an in-person Pilates class once per week.” Not only is that a realistic small step, but easily quantifiable.
4. What to do if you go off course?
With such a high failure rate at keeping to our new year resolutions, it is important to consider what to do if you don’t do what you set out to do. There are a number of reasons why we might not succeed at keeping our new year resolutions, such as lack of time, resources or motivation. So what do we do to get back on track? Simply, we could restart a fresh, take a different approach or perhaps seek support in making the changes you are looking for.
Pilates as we know brings many benefits to us not just from a strength perspective but also to help assist balance and focus, as well as relieving stress. At a time where mental wellbeing is so important, in helping us to build resilience, these are important factors that should come into play when planning our resolutions and intentions for the year ahead.
If Pilates is part of your resolutions or intentions this year, and you would like some accountability to help keeping on track with your new year resolutions, please get in touch to discover more about our online membership or friendly in person group classes.