Although I didn't make any New Year's Resolutions this year, I did make myself a couple of promises for January. Like the rest of the country, I slightly let myself go this Christmas and totally boycotted the gym to become best friends with the fridge.
And so, because I'm weird and like a challenge, I'm actually quite excited about the goals that I've set. I think in the past I have made the mistake of committing to losing however many pounds or dropping however many dress sizes, but it's only now that I'm appreciating that in doing that I was totally setting myself up for failure.
When I start off at one weight, with the goal of being another 30 days later, it was too much. I couldn't feel the thrill or the reward in one gym session and as a result, I was quitting way too early.
So this year, what I have decided to do, is to work in distances.
My promise to myself is that I will cycle 50 miles and run 7 miles every week and I sort of feel that, since I have set myself a quota, I have a target that I am able to meet and a goal that is, for once achievable.
It means I can break it up and actually, rather than doing what I normally do, which is to flop my way up the treadmill desperately watching as the calorie meter climbs INCREDIBLY slowly, measuring something that I can't actually see and is to all intensive purposes, I now watch the distance go, something that I can actually FEEL.
And the best bit is, next time you're in the car, and you know that you've cycled a certain distance in a week, you can drive it and appreciate quite how far you've come.
It also totally works in favour of our favourite motto of the moment: 'fit not thin'. Apart from the fact that you FEEL way more pro telling someone that you cycled 5 miles this morning, rather than having just burnt 100 calories, you can actually feel yourself getting fitter.
By simply watching the calories you'll never know or be able to judge your progress, but for me at least this has made a world of difference. When I first got on a bike, 3 years ago, I physically could not do 5 miles, and since then I must have cycled over 2000. It's incredibly rewarding when on the 5th attempt you breeze past 3 miles without even noticing.
So there you have it. It might not work, and if you're deliberately staying out of the gym this month on principle then good for you, but for everyone else, give it a try!!