How to set (and achieve!) your goals for the New Year

- "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" -

Benjamin Franklin

The end of the year is near, and millions of people are now starting to think about those New Year's resolutions again.
But many of those resolutions fail; a study in 2007 found that a staggering 88% of those goals never get completed.
Another study showed that about 75% doesn't even make it through the first week.

So how do you make sure your resolution will not fail?

As an example, let's use the #1 resolution of all time: Losing weight

1) Set a realistic goal 
Often we want too much, too fast. Setting a goal that is actually realistic, will make all the difference.
For example, wanting to lose 25 kg in 2 months, isn't.
But setting that goal for the entire year, is absolutely possible and also a lot safer.
A good way to do this, is using a goal sheet, that you will hang somewhere where you will see it daily.

So set your goal and connect a time-frame to it.

2) Make yourself aware & committed
This may sound strange, since you are the one setting the goal, but often people forget the level of impact certain lifestyle changes can have. Sit yourself down and actually think about the journey you're about to embark on. It's not simply going from A to B, there will be challenges along the way.
What are the possible set-backs? How will you deal with them?

Preparing yourself mentally will create more confidence and set-backs will not derail your train to success.

3) Make a plan and add check-ins
Decide how you are going to achieve your goal, and cut the plan up into smaller pieces.
Let's take the 25kg weight loss goal. What needs to be done to achieve this? For example:

- Calorie intake of 2100 calories a day
- Tracking via MyFitnessPal
- 3 days a week of exercise

Then, since you've given yourself 12 months to do this, plan a check-in every month to see if you're on the right track. To lose 25 kg in 12 months, you need to lose 2,1 kg a month.
Then each month, you check your progress:

- Have you maintained the caloric intake?
- Have you tracked it in MyFitnessPal?
- Have you exercised at east 12 times this month?
- How much weight have you lost?

Cutting your goal up into smaller chunks, makes it easier to manage and correct if needed.

4) Keep track of progress
You can use your goal sheet to keep track of all these things, or use mobile apps.
Take before pictures and measure yourself. 
You can then decide how often you want to take pictures again and measurements and log them.



A helpful app for this is Fit-Stitch Progress Tracker. It allows you to take your before, progress and
after photos, but also can set reminders to repeat daily, weekly or monthly.

Another app is called Bodytrack.it, where you can also add your measurements and track your progress in graphs. It also allows you to take before and after photos.


The 2 most helpful and also motivational tools are simply: pictures & measurements.

Final thought
In order to achieve change, you need to change. This sounds logical, but often people are simply not prepared to make a change.
The situation you got yourself into, is a result of a certain type of behaviour.
In order to change the situation, you need to change your behaviour. This is usually not easy and also not something to look forward to. It's called "Getting out of your comfort zone"

It will be difficult, it will have ups and downs. But in the end, you decide if it's worth it or not.
And most often, it is.


Product Review: The Protein Drinks Co.

What's better than a protein shake? A protein shake ready-made in a handy bottle!

That brings us to the company we are reviewing this time: The Protein Drinks Company from Maidenhead, UK.

They currently have 7 products, and we got to try the following:

- Ufit (in chocolate & strawberry)
- Ufit Pro50 (in chocolate & strawberry)
- Ufit Breakfast  (in chocolate & strawberry)


All drinks are packed with protein, the difference with the Ufit Breakfast is mainly the oats.

Macros & Ingredients

All drinks serve between 50 to 70 calories per 100 ml, making the Ufit Pro50 the one with the highest amount of calories.

The Ufit Pro50 has also the highest amount of protein, 10 grams per 100 ml.

* What surprised us, was that on the label of the Ufit, it says "no sugar added" however it does contain dextrose.


Taste

The chocolate has a nice chocolatey taste, it does the trick for the chocolate fix. No strange aftertaste at all.

Strawberry is nice as well and not too sweet . Not our personal preference though (but we are chocolate addicts)

The advantage of these drinks is that you don't have to get the blender out and mix your drink up, it sits in the fridge ready to go at any time, which is super convenient. Take it down to the gym and you can get your protein fix straight away after your workout.


To conclude

These drinks are great for on the go or if you are squeezed for time in the morning and need to get some protein in fast.
The Ufit Pro50 is also a great post-workout, since it has 50 grams of protein and almost 20 grams of carbs, so makes for a good recovery drink.

Where to buy

You can purchase all the drinks easily online in their webshop, they are sold in packs of 6 or 8.




Product Review: Smart Protein

We got our hands on some samples of Optimum Whey Protein by Smart Protein this time, and when it arrived in the mail, it was just after a heavy Wendler 5/3/1 workout, so perfect timing!

Smart Protein is a new company based in the U.K., set-up by former employees of MaxiMuscle & MaxiRaw, and has launched a broad selection of supplements in sleek looking, dark purple packaging, props for the design!

Optimum Whey is mainly a whey protein concentrate, but also contains isolate & hydrolysate (see below)

Ingredients & Macros










We got both Chocolate & Vanilla, and for both flavours the list is very short. We like this a lot. If you're looking for a protein with even lesser ingredients, then opt for the Whey Isolate version.

The protein ratio is 0,8, falling into the higher protein ratio category. Great score!










Taste

The chocolate is nice and smooth, albeit a bit on the weak side (we like really dark chocolate) but the first reaction was definitely positive, this is an excellent tasting protein!

The vanilla has a nice, subtle aroma, creamy substance and is not too sweet. Vanilla is not our most favourite usually, but this one has definitely made onto our list! Delicious!

Price

Optimum Whey comes in various sizes & prices:

500 grams - £11.50
1 kg - £17.95
2 kg - £32.50
4 kg - £62.95

These are very competitive prices, and with a product that also provides excellent tast and quality, you simply can't go wrong here!

We highly recommend trying out Smart Protein, and as a bonus, get 10% off your first order with code TEAMSMART

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