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  • Katie

Should you set new years' resolutions for 2024??

The new year is coming, so it’s time to buckle up & get ready for the barrage of ‘new year, new you’ advertising that’s coming our way.


As a health & fitness coach, I have mixed feelings about the expectations that the change of a calendar year can create for people. The arrival of a new year will not miraculously change your daily habits, it does not guarantee your new ‘desired’ behaviours will sustain over time and in many cases, it creates a sense of pressure to completely overhaul our entire lives immediately, set unrealistic goals and ultimately leads us to seek out 'quick fixes' and unsustainable routines.


What happens next??


We quit; we burnout & possibly catch ourselves saying ‘maybe next year’….

This type of cycle has the potential to repeat itself year in, year out and ultimately, we fail to make any long-term, meaningful progress towards our goals.

On the flip side, the New Year can be an incredibly powerful motivator for change – it has a unique way of igniting a spark of motivation and inspiration within us all.

I for one am all for harnessing that motivation and channelling it into something meaningful, something which has the potential to positively move me closer to my personal goals.


So, we're back to the original question: Should you set New Year’s resolutions?


Yes!! 100% yes!


I absolutely believe it is a wonderful opportunity to set out your intentions for the next 12 months – it's a new chapter, offering endless possibilities and opportunities for growth, learning, and experience.


 

I want to share a very powerful philosophy we learned about at ‘Coaches Congress’ in Berlin which we were fortunate to attend last week. Ben Bergeron, who is a world-renowned coach, spoke passionately about a ‘Hierarchy of Mindset’, which I believe is a useful concept to consider when we not only set our goals, but when we are in the midst of working towards them.


According to the ‘Hierarchy of Mindset’ there are ‘5 levels of mindset’ & we can move through each ‘level’ regularly, but tend to find ourselves typically gravitating toward one more often than the others.

Here is an explanation of each of the ‘5 Levels of Mindset’:


  • The Victim: This is where everything happens to us. We don't take any responsibility and therefore don't ever take action. Everyone and everything else is to blame, and we live as a helpless victims of what life throws our way.

  • The Pessimist: This is where our outlook is always negative. We take action but complain about doing so and fail to acknowledge any positives. We’re a step ahead of the victim at this stage – because you are taking action.

  • The Optimist: At this level, you’re hopeful but lack a concrete plan. You believe things will work out but don’t necessarily know how.

  • The Realist: This is where we see reality as it is. Good things happen, bad things happen. Life can be random and unfair but what matters is how we respond. You’re not swayed by extreme emotions but take a balanced approach. You’ve stopped telling yourself stories and face reality with courage and clarity.

  • The Warrior: This is where we actively seek out challenges. The warrior actively seeks challenges that align with their goals and values, knowing that this is where learning and growth take place, so this becomes our main focus.

Awareness is everything – building awareness of where your mindset is at in any given moment, in the midst of any given challenge or opportunity is the key to either ‘levelling up’ or ‘doubling down’ on your current thought patterns.


If you find yourself spending time at the Victim or Pessimist level, pause, start questioning your thoughts. Are they helping you or holding you back?


If you find yourself spending time at the Optimist level – it’s time to bring added focus, clarity – time to choose your next steps - set your action points & focus on implementation.


If you are hanging out in the realist realm – it’s time to double down & focus on bringing yourself toward the Warrior – seek out growth, seek out challenges that align with your core values and step outside of your comfort zone and explore your limits.


We can apply this to our new year’s resolutions, our goals for 2024 – but you must become aware of where you are starting from.


If you struggle with self-belief, if you experience negative self-talk - “I’ll probably fail”, “I’m not fit enough”, “it’s too hard for me”, your sole focus should be on just taking one small action – even if it’s with an eye roll & some pessimism thrown in for good measure – at least you’ve moved up a level from victim to pessimist and are now taking some action.


Before you know it, you might find a little optimism creeping in, a pep in your step – here’s where it may be time to reassess your goals and focus on building concrete, thought-out, realistic plans on how to achieve your renewed goals – (hello Realist) and here’s where we truly start to unlock our potential – the Warrior.


 

Here’s some final musings as I continue to reflect on 2023 & look forward to 2024.


I am motivated to promote health, and positive health behaviour. This should have been obvious considering I graduated with a masters in Health Promotion over 14 years ago, long before I valued gyms, long before Wolfhound Fitness was founded, long before I truly understood ‘best practise’ when it comes to promoting physical health for the human body.

I have learned a lot in the past decade – mostly from conversations with hundreds, if not thousands of people, who on some level want to make positive changes to their health, to their sports performance, to their longevity and quality of life.


I’ve enjoyed lessons from fellow coaches, shared-experiences, shared-mistakes and progressive conversations. Always learning & expanding knowledge through formal education route – (which I inevitably regret signing up to courses once the assignments start coming in!) But respecting the need for continued personal development and repeating the mantra – “the day you think you know it all, is the day you’re finished” drives me to keep my ‘learning’ hat on as often as possible.


In 2024, I would like to carve out time to share thoughts, like this, more often.


I regularly find myself giving out about fitness & sport, identifying what I consider ‘wrong’ or ‘poor practise’ – so one of my goals is to stop or at least reduce the amount time I spend in the ‘Victim’, ‘Pessimist’ & ‘Optimist’ levels – I truly want to be a part of the solution – providing clarity in an industry which can be incredibly confusing, disjointed and somewhat intimidating


2024 – a year to be happy, healthy & helpful,


Katie x


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