The key to healthy resolutions

In theory, New Year’s resolutions are a great idea, but most of us can only stick to them for a few days, at most!

The problem is that many  are unrealistic and poorly executed. Most involve inspiration, but no preparation. For long-term success, a detailed and sustainable action plan is key.

Change your health outlook

Instead of seeing it as all-or-nothing, look at health as a continuum. Every decision made moves us closer to one end of the continuum, either good health or poor health. For example, a fizzy drink would move us in the wrong direction, while drinking a glass of water would do the opposite. By making small, positive decisions, we move closer and closer to good health.

Integrate exercise

For most people, exercise is an add-on, something they do if they can find time. It’s much easier to accommodate if you find ways to incorporate activity into your daily routine.

For example, climbing the stairs to the third floor takes just a minute longer than waiting for the elevator. This also goes for the office. Using a smaller water glass and implementing “email-free Fridays”, where you walk messages to colleagues as opposed to sending them, can boost your step count, and help you lose weight more quickly.

When we find reasons to stay active throughout the day, we can afford to miss an exercise session every now and then.

Regular self-care

Many of us get so wrapped up in our busy day-to-day schedule that we forget to pause and give ourselves a break. One easy way to squeeze in self-care is to set aside 10 minutes for yourself every morning, before you reach for your phone and start checking emails.

Lie in bed and take note of things you’re grateful for, put your phone on “do not disturb” until you’ve finished your morning workout, and read for pleasure while enjoying your morning coffee. Starting the day with a dose of solitude sets the tone for your entire day, and makes for a much-calmer year.

Say goodbye to fad diets

Losing weight is a staple resolution, which could explain why so many diets fail. It’s fine to have weight loss as a goal, but instead of following the latest diet craze, focus your efforts on eating healthily.

Though that’s not to say fad diets get everything wrong. Steering clear of empty calories and loading up on whole food and healthy fats are steps in the right weight-loss direction.

Head back to the kitchen

Kitchens are getting fancier and fancier, yet fewer and fewer people are actually using them. The beauty of resolving to do more of your own cooking is that you gain more control over the nutritional quality of your meals. Prepare your own food from fresh ingredients. You will save calories and money, and you will be healthier for it.

Your favourite foods

Completely cutting out certain foods, especially those you’re particularly fond of, is setting yourself up for failure. When someone takes an all-or-nothing approach to bettering their eating habits, the likely result will be bingeing on the restricted food in the near future, followed by feelings of guilt or shame.

Focus on incorporating more healthy, nutrient-rich foods into your diet, while still allowing yourself the occasional treat, so you never feel deprived.

Unplug daily

Thanks to modern electronics, we’re switched on and tuned in 24/7, and more stressed than ever. A growing body of research finds that media overload can increase your risk of depression, social anxiety, job burnout, and even allergies. The solution? Spend an hour, 10 hours, or a full day without your mobile, computer or games.

Start a food journal

A crucial step to changing unhealthy food habits is simply being aware of what you’re consuming on a daily basis. Write down your goals and what you’re eating; food journals are eye-opening to what you are actually eating and drinking.  A study showed that keeping a food diary doubled a person’s weight loss. If you’re trying to slim down, keeping a personal account of your meals and snacks is an excellent first step.


Another way to reduce your stress levels (and boost your mood) is to work on clearing out the clutter in your home. Living in the midst of clutter saps your energy. Clean up your mess, and it will open up your life for more positive energy.

Find a gym buddy

Look for a New-Year’s-resolution buddy who can make you accountable for meeting your goals. Whether it’s a colleague, best friend or family member, having an accountability partner who can either accompany you on your workouts, or even just be there to encourage you when you feel like giving up, is crucial. A study found that more than 70% of participants successfully completed their goals, when sending weekly progress reports to a friend.


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Posted by on Jan 4 2019. Filed under Health & Beauty. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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