Making lifestyle changes that stick

How are you getting on with your New Year Resolutions? Have you given up already?

Well don’t lose heart! Most resolutions flounder because they are too large and overwhelming. If your aim was to improve your diet, why not start with just one change, and make it positive. Introduce one new thing into your routine, like drinking more water, or eating more fruit, and try to keep that up for three weeks. By the end of three weeks it will have become a habit, and then you can try introducing another positive change.

Another reason resolutions fall by the wayside, is because they are framed in a negative way. People talk about giving up, which creates a negative feeling of deprivation around their goal. So instead of giving up smoking, why not just stop smoking? Instead of giving up chocolate, why not eat more fruit? Any lifestyle change around food, which focuses on not being able to have certain things, as most diets do, may become unsustainable in the long term. Try introducing more fruit, vegetables and legumes into your diet. If you crowd your meals with nutrient rich healthy food, you will have less room in your stomach for junk.

Do your resolutions cost money? Gym memberships can be really expensive and unless you are someone who loves the gym and already has a habit of going two or three times a week, you may end up not getting your moneys worth. If you want to go to a gym as part of your exercise routine, but aren’t sure about how commited you can be, most local leisure centres have a gym where you can pay as you go, just as you can with their swimming pools. Why not try something completely free? If you drive to work every day, why not leave earlier and park a mile from your office, giving you a brisk walk before and after work. Walking before work will wake you up, and walking afterwards will help you process any stress and frustrations which built up in the day.

So if you have let your good intentions slip, don’t beat yourself up. Just make one small change!

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