Have you fallen off-track and can't seem to get back on the resolution train? Here are some top tips for choosing your resolution, whether it be fitness, diet or relationship.

Reassessing your new year resolutions



The fitness resolution:

Keep your goal realistic and – importantly – enjoyable.

“A suitable goal might be ‘to go to the gym three times a week’. That’s based on an action, and it’s measurable – you’ll know you’ve achieved it when you’ve gone to the gym three times in one week. It’s achievable and sustainable,” says business coach Mike Irving.

Consider your fitness base before you set your training goals for the coming year.

“It’s easy to run too far, for example, which will cause you to break down. But if you start by running a tolerable distance, on a regular basis, you can gradually increase that distance,” says Kusal Goonewardena, sports physiotherapist and founder of Elite Akademy.

“Even elite athletes build their fitness gradually, using the '20 per cent rule’; that is, you only increase your workload by a maximum of 20 percent, and only after at least three weeks at the previous level. For example, you need to be running five kilometres for at least three weeks before you consider increasing the distance to six kilometres.”


The diet resolution:

“Healthy, sustainable weight loss is about one kg a week, so keep that in mind when you set your diet goals,” says Duncan Hunter, dietitian and advisor to Atkins Nutritionals. “Create an inspirations board to keep yourself on track. This may be the ‘skinny’ jeans you want to fit back into, your children who you want to be healthy for or a fun run you are aiming to compete in. Look at it for daily reinforcement.”

Set yourself a number of smaller, easier goals that will help you gain confidence in your ability to achieve your bigger objective.

“With my clients, I encourage having non-weight loss goals as their primary focus,” says Ferstera. “Weight loss is not easy – particularly keeping it off – so I encourage focusing on strength or fitness as I know I can help them achieve this. If their weight is not coming down as fast as it should, they can focus on their improvements in strength and fitness, which helps keep them motivated and on track.”


The relationships resolution:

“In making your goal, it’s important to work out where you are at the moment, and where you want to go,” says Dr Glen Hosking, clinical psychologist. “The more specific you can be with the end point, the better. Work out what you would like to change. Perhaps it’s getting more quality time together, so your goal might be ‘for my partner and I to spend every Sunday morning together doing an activity’.”

Part of the secret of success is perfecting the tricky balance of fun with planning – without killing the mood.

“We can sometimes get bogged down in the many responsibilities and general stress of life, so brainstorming some fun and enjoyable couple activities can really lighten the mood,” says sex therapist and relationship counsellor Christina Spaccavento.

“Sitting down together, syncing your diaries and choosing days and times to connect is a great way to ensure that you can both follow through on your commitments to each other and the relationship.”

NEXT: So what makes a good goal and how do we set goals? According to research, there are five fundamentals for successful goal setting. Read them here.