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Creating Effective Habits

For many people a new year is a fresh start and a chance to recalibrate, set new goals, improve some aspect of your life or take on new challenges. While I don’t so much encourage New Year’s resolutions as they are usually poorly thought out, not properly planned or of little relevance, it is good practice to review the past 12 months and consider what worked well, what didn’t work and where you want to improve? By reviewing the mistakes it gives us a chance to learn and further develop. Remember ‘failure is only failure if you do not learn from it’.

It doesn’t have to be a new year to set new challenges as there is no time like the present to make a healthy change or start working towards something new. Now that we are already through the festive season and back to normal daily routines it is a great time to start to look at the next few months or year ahead. Something to consider when pursuing new goals is to create healthy and effective habits. This will help keep us on track and integrate your goals into your life.

The 5 basic habits include:

1. Develop a routine- Something that works for you and your lifestyle considering work, family, other interests and commitments. Prioritise what is most important to you or needs the most attention.

2. Be prepared- plan and prepare in advance for how you will go about your goals including coaching, training, nutrition, recovery, transport, equipment, friends/ support network etc

3. Stay focussed- focus but enjoy the process, do not get distracted by temptations or pressure from others. Use smaller goals along the way to maintain motivation.

4. Time management- closely linked to planning and being prepared. Think about work/life balance- how can you integrate your pursuits into work, family and other life commitments, limit travel and other stressors that aren’t relevant.


5. Reflection- become self-aware, listen to your body, assess the process and make changes as necessary. If you are pursuing a performance goal allow sufficient rest and recovery.

I hope these habits will help you with any goals or achievements you are working towards this year.

Aaron Ashdown