It’s finally 2021 and we can’t wait to welcome our members back to the gym, pool and studios as soon as possible. For the time-being, rest assured we have an online timetable to keep you active, healthy and happy.
January is typically the time to reflect on what you’d like to change or achieve in the year ahead, with ‘New year, New you’ promoted everywhere you go. The risk of being too radical or unrealistic with new year’s resolutions, however, means that by February motivation is waning. You don’t need to change you, per se. A slight shift in mindset and a deeper dive into what you want to change, how and why are key to success.
A mid- to long-term intention or goal is a more sustainable approach to achieving your mental, physical health and well-being ambitions. The Thames Club team is here to help and guide you with advice and tips, starting with this blog.
Whilst goals should be challenging, they shouldn’t fill you with dread or misery or become impossible to fulfil. Think about what makes you feel good and what you are determined to achieve. This may well be different to what your friends, family or colleagues enjoy – be true and honest with yourself and try not to make comparisons.
The acronym SMART is great for goal setting – here’s a brief explanation from a health and well-being perspective.
- S is for specific: what exactly do you want to achieve? ‘Lose weight’ or ‘get fit’ are popular and respectable intentions but are vague. Think more granularly about your goal. We also say that ‘S’ stands for ‘stretching’ – move out of that comfort zone!
- M is for measurable: if you don’t know your starting point, you won’t know how far you’ve come. Set goals and track progress (and success) with measurable outcomes – for example:
- attending 3 classes a week
- setting and beating a running personal best
- swimming a kilometre
- losing inches from your waistline/hips
- conquering a specific yoga flow
- lifting a defined amount of KG
You can also measure your mental health by writing down or thinking about how you feel or how your energy levels are. Do you have a sense of control, optimism and positivity, for example?
- A is for achievable: your goal needs to work with your lifestyle and motivators. Think big but start small – you can always increase your target! We also like A for accountability, as you may find it helps to share your pledges, but this is up to you. If it adds unnecessary pressure, keep your goals close to your chest
- R is for realistic: be optimistic but think realistically about how much time (and energy) you can commit over the year and beyond. For example, to work out twice a day everyday may be achievable but is it realistic, for you? Consider external factors too and what’s realistic in the current climate
- T is for timed: define when you want to achieve your goal or schedule
checkpoints/milestones. This helps you celebrate the small wins that contribute to your overall success. We definitely encourage celebrating! A new habit can take weeks to become part of your lifestyle and mindset, so don’t expect to see instant change overnight.
Sound like a plan?
By vaguely planning to ‘do a workout’ you may start finding excuses or simply run out of time, so we advise planning your week out and sticking to it. If you discover your goal is untenable, then alter it or give yourself more time – that’s ok! Similarly, if you fall off the wagon – don’t dwell on it but get back on track and talk to us here if you want support. Give yourself some slack too. Sometimes life gets in the way and your gym routine may be impacted temporarily. It’s better to make slow and steady progress than to lose all motivation and give up.
Make a positive, personal change in 2021 and beyond
We publish the live Thames Club timetable every week so you can plan your classes in advance. Don’t forget on demand classes enable you to catch up on a missed class. As soon as the gym and pool are open again, get booking!
2020 was exceptionally challenging, and whilst 2021 is still a little uncertain, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You’ve got this.
New year, resilient you.