New Year but still the Same Old You?

5 Tips to Make You More Productive in 2016

By Rick Ashworth MSc Applied Sports Science (Psychology)

Now it’s early February it’s a good opportunity to look back at the start of the new year to and decide how my 2016 goals are progressing and if they are not then to find out why.images

At the start of the year I made a quick list of the things I wanted to achieve this year. It’s something that I do at the start of each New Year but something that could be done just as easily at any time. Studies clearly prove that written goals reach fruition far more regularly than arbitrary thoughts; it’s not so easy to dismiss a goal or idea that you’ve taken the trouble to commit to paper and, therefore, given greater impetus to committing to long-term memory than a brief moment of contemplation soon brushed away by the next random action that fills your mind.

Despite having hit many of the things I’ve noted down over the years, I realise that it’s the goals written without any real insight into how I might reach them that have let me down. It’s a good to dream big but it’s better to have the big goal broken down into manageable chunks at the start and allow them to develop as you progress through. So I structure my goals into chunks or slices that will lead me towards the whole piece of pie

If you haven’t already I recommend writing a short list of approximately 5 goals, big enough goals that will take some work and drive and, possibly, goals that you don’t yet know how to achieve or, even, if you can! Goals outside your comfort zone are great but don’t write a huge list that will have your focus switching between each too often. The more points the less you are going to focus and the more likely your motivation will wane.

In my humble opinion, don’t use a plan that lasts for more than 90-Days. This is plenty long enough to allow you to work towards a certain stage of each goal, allowing you to celebrate reaching mini-milestones fairly regularly, which should help you stay motivated and always moving forwards.

To help you with this planning process you can (ideally, should) use S.M.A.R.T. goals. That is to say make your goals specific to what you want to attain; measurable, you have your goals but now you need to break them down a touch to create a path to the main goal (want to become a self-employed fitness blogger, the first step is to write a relevant blog or attend a writing course or, even, do both!); achievable, you want a Rolls-Royce in the future but are you going to be able to afford one in the next three months? Best start a savings account specific to the Rolls-Royce and nothing else. Be realistic, you want to save-up to afford something new but you’ve still got bills to pay, food to buy and other outgoings so how much can you actually put back whilst still being able to live your life? Finally, Timed, well, that’s 90-Days, that bit’s easy!

List your 5 goals by priority and write them on a card or a piece of paper and stick it somewhere you will see it regularly, at least daily and place it somewhere that cannot be ignored. Better still, stick it somewhere other people can see it and bring others into your sphere to help influence and direct you. However, the list must be something you really want and if you’re not comfortable sharing it with everyone and then don’t but do try to involve others.

These goals don’t have to be purely business goals, they could be personal targets or even just health and fitness but, in my experience, I would keep it to a maximum 5 goals in business and 5 goals in your personal life, otherwise, the lists become too unwieldy.

My list? Well, in the next three months I will…

Train an average of … clients-per-week on average

Use my diary daily to plan ahead and hold myself accountable (something I’m not great at)

Complete three meal guides to help clients nutritional goals

En-role on a relevant business course that will directly help my career

Be in the gym whether clients booked in or not at least 3 evenings every week

I have tried to see where there are gaps in my knowledge, ambition and diary and attempted to fill each area with relevant and specific ideas that are easily measured and that will provide a springboard towards furthering my career and interests. They are stuck on the front of the fridge so I can keep them clearly in mind and my partner and family can help and support me towards them because reaching them will not just benefit me.

Let 2016 be your most productive, pro-active and promising year ever. Good luck!

For further information and advice feel free to call me on 07887-745-773 or email me at

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