January is a tough month without ludicrous statements like ‘I will take up a new hobby each week. Here are New Year’s resolutions that are much easier to keep, we promise.
Why is keeping our New Year good intentions so tough? Researchers have identified several culprits, namely setting goals that are too vague or having unrealistic expectations (lose a stone by March 1st – ha!)
Here are a few simple, manageable changes you can make to your attitude to health and wellbeing, which in turn will positively affect your behaviour.
Don’t focus on subtracting food
Instead of focussing on all the things you want to cut out, pledge to eat more fruit and veg, or protein, wholewheats, or drink more water. Being a positive addition instead of a negative prohibition, you’re more likely to repeat it until the action becomes an automatic habit.
Do a kitchen clear-out
Toss all unwanted unhealthy store cupboard ingredients and restock with good-for-you options.
Have a wardrobe MOT
If it hasn’t been worn in 2017, it’s time to chuck it (or donate it). Be ruthless.
Say no to something once a day
Instead of promising yourself you will never touch a sweet treat again, set a reasonable target – say no to the extra cheese on your spaghetti at dinnertime.
Pencil in bedtime
Schedule in early bedtimes as you would gym sessions and work meetings. This will not only help you actually get more sleep, but begin to shape your attitude around prioritising sleep and recognising it as an essential way for you to help your body and stay strong and your mind alert. Set a reminder to go off a half hour before you plan to hit the sack – try using Apple’s bedtime app.
Start reading on the Tube
Turn that 30min stressful journey previously spent trying not to catch strangers’ eyes or read the adverts about hair loss treatments, into a peaceful commute. And don’t kid yourself, if you’ve always struggled through Sense and Sensibility at school, now is probably not the time to embark on that dusty Dostoevsky at the back of your bookshelf. Check out the 50 best books of 2017 here.
Plan for snack attacks
The night before work, pack a protein-complex carb snack in your purse. Think: hummus and pita chips or pistachios and a pear. Check out these tips for curbing office snacking!
Start collecting Recipes
Sustainable, healthy weight loss can only come about through making lifestyle changes towards eating a balanced diet of wholefoods. One way to get excited about this is to start collecting favourite recipes, recommendations from friends and family, and ideas.