Shamrock Rovers: Setting Realistic Goals for January

New Year’s Health & Fitness Goals

Health and fitness books line the shelves front of store in every bookshop while luminous running gear is flying out of the shops. Sunday papers are spewing out supplements with diet plans and you can’t find a free treadmill in the gym. It’s that time of year again – the New Year’s resolution phase.

A lot of people will succumb to the left-over tins of biscuits from Christmas but the fitness trends of late seem to be steering more and more people out of plastic biscuit tins and into lycra active wear. The recent explosion in the health & fitness industry has meant that consumption of health & lifestyle goods is peaking even higher at this time of year. And just like the selection boxes at Christmas, it’s easy to lose the run of yourself and get lost in all of it.

When it comes to setting goals in the New Year, it’s important to keep them realistic. They must be achievable so that we see the progress ourselves and slowly but surely make our way in the right direction towards our ideal. As Sporting Director of Shamrock Rovers, I implement this exact formula when it comes to planning ahead for a new season. Here at the club, we set realistic goals and just like the team itself will take each game as it comes.

If your end goal for the New Year is to lose 10 lbs by March, focus on the first lb first.  If you want to be able to run a marathon by this time next year, start of by running a 5k, then a 10k, then a half marathon. If you aim too high and fail first time around, you’re much more likely to give up altogether!

Keeping track of progress is key. Write down your end goal and map out your journey. Start a diary and write down every bite you eat or step you make each day. When you write something down and visualise it, it’s much more likely to be achieved.

Make small incremental changes to your lifestyle each day and they will add up to one big change. If you want to change your diet, look at things you can cut and add to assist with this. For example, if you’re looking at drinking more water, aim to gradually add one glass of water to your diet a day until you are getting what you need. If you’re an athlete looking for a growth in muscle mass, increasing protein intake is something you will need to do. The Shamrock Rovers team maintain protein intake by adding a serving of Herbalife 24 Rebuild Strength shake.

Here at Shamrock Rovers, our season will begin around the middle to the end of February. This post-Christmas period is crucial for us and our nutritionists and coaches will always sit down with each player and make sure they’re mapping out their goals ahead of the season and reviewing their progress as goals are achieved. This is what allows us to achieve great things at Shamrock Rovers and it has helped us to become the league’s most successful club. There’s a meticulous approach to things here in pre-season, it’s not all gruelling sprints and runs in the cold!

If I was to give a few key points of changes you can make to be healthier this new year they would be:

  1. Get enough sleep! Every adult should get about 8 hours per night.
  2. Stay hydrated – Nothing is worse than when you don’t get enough fluids on board.
  3. Have a good breakfast – this sets you up for the day and kicks off your metabolism.
  4. Exercise regularly – regardless of how busy you are, exercise is a priority.

Don’t give up – If you fall off the path towards your goal, forget about it and keep going!

– Stephen McPhail, Sporting Director, Shamrock Rovers