Keep your health and fitness resolutions
Are you already fighting the urge to give up on your New Year’s Resolutions? You’re not alone. In fact, research suggests a whopping 88 per cent of people will have given up on their resolutions by 22 January.
Stay on the wagon and get your year off to a great start with these tips from Frida Harju, in-house nutritionist at Swedish health and fitness app Lifesum (lifesum.com), on how to maintain momentum and reach your health and fitness goals.
Surround yourself with positive company
It may seem obvious, but having people around you to encourage and support you through your exercise and diet can make a huge difference. Recruit a reliable exercise partner – that way, you can gently compete and push each other forward, and you can remind each other of what you have achieved if one of you wants to give up.
Subscribe to an aspirational blog
Although you may have already signed up to a gym and committed to a diet, if you subscribe to a food blog or health newsletter, update alerts can serve as a gentle reminder to stay on track, and might even inspire you to try something new with healthy recipes and exercise regimes.
Set realistic goals
It’s very important that the goals you have set are achievable and manageable. If you are impatient and expect instant results, you will quickly become dissatisfied and are more likely to give up altogether. Do not be hard on yourself if you have an off day, and ensure you praise yourself for small achievements. Most importantly, make sure you start each day afresh – don’t hold on to guilt if you slipped up the night before.
Work out what you are trying to achieve
Most people want to improve their image or lifestyle in order to gain something more, so it’s important that you are actually directing your resolutions towards your happiness. Whether you are dieting and working to improve your confidence or boost your health, remind yourself once in a while what you are doing it for.
If you’re seeing results and working hard at improving your overall lifestyle, you should reward yourself – even if it’s just once a month. Make sure you give yourself a treat every now and again and don’t deprive yourself entirely of the things you enjoy. Everything is fine in moderation, so if you have worked hard all week reward yourself with a naughty treat, or celebrate with a new pair of shoes or a nice haircut once you reach a specific goal.
Make smart choices
Instead of making massive changes to your diet and denying yourself all the delicious things you love, try committing to a small change and adapting your favourite treats. For example, instead of adding sugar, use honey or agave nectar, or instead of having chips, show off your culinary skills and make some sweet potato fries.
Climb one hill at a time
People often put too much on their plate – they want to lose weight, quit smoking and learn a new skill all at once. If you split your attention between all of your goals, you are unlikely to stay focused and your willpower will falter. By putting all your energy into one aim, you are more likely to achieve it.
Set behavioural goals, rather than vague targets
Setting a resolution of ‘losing ten pounds’ can be too vague and daunting, especially if the end goal is quite big. It is much easier to set behavioural goals that will help you work towards your main aim – for example, going to the gym three times a week and walking to work every day. If you can keep to your small changes, you are more likely to see big results.
Keep a reminder
Try to find something that you know will trigger willpower – whether it is a song that reminds you to be happy, a picture of your former self, or even a photograph of something you want to achieve. It’s a great method if you are loosing hope or tempted to give into your cravings – just take two seconds out to look at the picture or listen to the song and remind yourself of these positive feelings and your determination.