New Year New You?
With every new year comes the promise of a fresh start, wiping the slate clean and 'finally' making our dreams come true. We are never more keenly motivated to make changes and improve our lives than at the start of a new year. But motivation alone will only get you so far, so sadly most new years resolutions are left unfulfilled year after year!
Do what you've always done, and you'll get what you've always gotten.
How to make new year resolutions that don't suck...
STOP reading! Go and get some paper right now. We're going to set some kick-ass new year resolutions right now. You've only got a few days left of 2016, so now's the time!
Firstly, to make 2017 your BEST YEAR EVER, set yourself up for success with new year resolutions and goals that you can really achieve in 12 months.
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” Bill Gates.
Remember that health is a journey, not a destination...
Don't overwhelm yourself and try and change overnight with a long list of resolutions that all start on January 1. Instead of starting your new diet and exercise regime on Jan 1, ease into a new healthier lifestyle. Plan to try out a few new recipes, add an extra portion of veggies into each meal. Allow room for a rest day between gym sessions.
Not surprisingly, eating healthy, exercising and self-improvement are the most common new years resolutions. January 1 is the favourite 'start' date, but also the time of year with the lowest success rate!
With the Jan 1 start date, you've sub-consciously told yourself you have free-reign of the Christmas leftovers until then.
You'll eat your weight in leftover ham, cherries and pudding so that its not in the house come the new year. Avoid this common pitfall by easing into your new goal. Eg, if quitting coffee, cigarettes, alcohol or sugar is your plan, start backing off NOW.
Be kind to yourself and reduce the amount you're having now, so that you're not hit with intense cravings on day one.
Set behaviour changes as a resolution instead of the outcome.
Instead of 'I must lose 10kgs', set the new year resolution to make better food choices, to swap white rice for brown, to get to the gym, to watch portion sizes, to drink more water...
Whatever you think is most important for you to change in order to achieve the goal of losing weight. That way, you're not attached to the number on the scales and are less likely to be disheartened by a plateau (it happens to us all!). It makes you celebrate the positive changes you're making, all while still working towards that weight loss goal.
Break big goals down into bite size steps, but make them realistic!
A goal without a plan is just a dream. If you have something big you want to achieve in 2017, break it down into bite-size steps, just ensure that those steps are achievable! Write up a step-by-step pathway to achieving your big goal and stick it somewhere you will see every single day. Eg, if weight loss is your goal, map out all the lifestyle and nutritional aspects that need to change and tackle ONE STEP AT A TIME. With each small change, you'll bolster your resolve and the better you are at making small steps, the easier it will be for you to continue.
Some of the best health new years resolutions:
- Drink 2L water each day
- Get to bed by 10pm
- Go for a walk in nature once a week
- Add an extra serve of veggies to every meal
- Try a new recipe
- Cut out softdrink
- Reduce coffee to one per day (before lunch)
- Replace coffee with herbal teas
- Switch to natural personal care & cleaning products
- Keep healthy snacks on hand (eg, nuts)
- Introduce 'Meatless Monday' and enjoy animal-product free meals once a week
- Eat mindfully at the table (not on the couch)
- Get an online cheer squad in a support forum, follow a blog or hire a coach.
Write them down and pin them up where you'll see them!
Research from Dominican University of California shows that people who put their goals down on paper are significantly more likely to achieve them than are those who merely make mental vows. Put them up where you'll see them often.
"Your will matters most in the moment you make a resolution - and you'll want to be able to recapture the intensity of that moment again and again" ~Marvin D. Seppala M.D.
Tell your people!
Share your resolution with your closest family and friends; tell them what you plan on changing and ask them to hold you accountable. Sending them a progress update via email is a great way to keep yourself on track!
There you have it. All the tips you'll need to set really good new years resolutions! Now get started and make 2017 the year you do things differently!