Aaron Cattell, The Vegan Coach shares his top tips on how to stick to those New Year goals as we head towards February
How do we teach people to evoke real, serious change in their lives and then sustain that change over a long period of time without going back to our old habits?
There is nothing worse than setting your New Year resolution, buying a new pair of trainers, meal prepping and then after a few weeks not seeing any real results. Trying hard is great, but what if you are trying hard at the wrong thing?
The most motivational thing is seeing actual results, but how can we be consistent enough for long enough to actually see worth while results?
Grab a piece of paper now, or type it out on your phone. This is an exercise I do with every one of my clients to get them started and stay motivated. Yes, goal setting might be something you have done before, but not like this…
I want you to write your goal as if you have actually already achieved it.
So rather than ” I want abs” – something more like…
“It’s 24 April and I now feel like a massive level of relief has been lifted off my shoulders as I can finally wear my favourite dress with confidence, because I have been working hard over the last few months and dropped two dress sizes. My husband, friends and family can tell that I’m glowing and this is the best feeling I’ve felt in a long time. I am so happy and glad that I have at last achieved the result I wanted whilst maintaining my vegan lifestyle”.
Create Your Morning Routine
Using your text, be sure to screenshot it, take a photo of it or put it somewhere that you will see it EVERY DAY. This will help remind you to stay focused and think about that bigger picture of health and wellness.
Every morning take some time to yourself – don’t check your phone straight away; in fact try not to check it for the first 30 minutes of your day, instead do something you enjoy.
Show gratitude; write down three things that you are grateful for. They could be so simple but they get your mindset into one of abundance rather than self-loathing. Even something as straightforward as changing a word in your self talk can have a great effect. Instead of thinking “I have to get up” or “ I have to go to work” start telling your self “I get to get up” and “I get to go to work”.
The final part of a successful morning routine is to make your bed. Something so small, but doing this allows you to start the day with something already completed from what is probably a very long to-do list.
Let’s Talk About Food and Exercise…
It is not so much the amount of food you eat or the amount of exercise you do, but how those two things relate to each other and your own personal goal.
We think going to the gym will help with growing muscle or fat loss, and it definitely will, but not as much as you think – if we don’t eat correctly.
You’d expect to lose weight if you ran a marathon each day, but not if you overeat when you’re not running. Likewise, if you lift weights everyday, but eat like a sparrow, it is going to be very hard to put on some serious muscle.
Here are some food and exercise guidelines, without being goal specific:
– Eat 80% of your food from whole plant-based sources like fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. The remaining 20% can be from the more processed vegan options. This way you can be healthy both physically and mentally. If you are trying to change your weight then you will also need to eat the correct amount of energy – this can be done with a very quick online calculation.
– Exercise regularly, with a combination of cardio for heart and lung health, and resistance training for bone health, muscle strength and neurotransmitter release. I would also recommend doing some flexibility work at least once per week to stay limber.
I would recommend doing the above workout twice a week, with two cardio days in-between, such as cycling, running, swimming and a yoga class or two.
Choose things you enjoy so you are more likely to stick with them long-term.
And finally, two very important things to consider:
– Sleep. One of the most important things that is often overlooked. This is when our body regenerates, recovers, and our gut bacteria rest and grow. Go to bed before midnight and try get seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
– Plan ahead. Pack your gym clothes the night before, make your own lunch and commit to taking some time to put yourself first. That way you can be as fit and as healthy as possible to be more productive at work and more energised for your life outside work.
Take action and achieve those goals – it’s your time!
Aaron is a personal trainer based in London, and also offers online transformational programs for vegan, ‘almost-vegans’ and plant-based people. He has a BSc in Sports Science and a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Nutrition, and has worked in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.
For more tips and access to a free vegan meal plan, follow Aaron on Instagram:
Feeling inspired? Why not encourage a friend to sign up to try vegan with you?