The heady days of Christmas excess may seem a lifetime ago if you have put your health, both physical and mental first during January.
Whether you have taken part in Dry January, Veganuary or another of the myriad of New Year health campaigns, the universal question is now; what happens next?
Resolutions are made but not always kept, however the key to following through on your happy and healthy start to 2020 lies in taking simple steps towards accountability and an increased focus on motivation.
Here are some tips to ensure January’s hard work doesn’t go to waste, from healthcare rm nutrition Subject Matter Expert, Eleanor Hickman.
- Take A Step Back – look at what has worked and what hasn’t worked for you over the past four weeks. Stick with what has worked and don’t worry about the things that haven’t.
- Be Realistic – Anyone would find it difficult to stick with a complete overhaul to their lifestyle, so don’t try and change too much too quickly. Work at your own place.
- Be Kind with Yourself and Don’t Lose Sight of What You Are Doing – If you fall off the wagon, one blip won’t undo all of the good stuff you have been doing. It’s unrealistic to think that this won’t ever happen. However, it’s what you do after this blip that counts.
- Set Yourself Short Term Targets and Write Them Down – Sometimes long term goals can be daunting and demotivating. Smaller short term goals are more often than not the best way to stay motivated and focused. If you succeeded in hitting your target for January, then stick to that formula and think about how February can build on that, rather than where you want to be in 12 months time. Writing down goals will cement this, especially if they are kept in plain sight.
- Address Your Perceived Barriers – There are always going to be reasons why you ‘can’t’ achieve your goal, whether that’s your work or social calendar taking over. However, you can work around these more often than not with careful planning. This goes back to goal setting and being realistic.
- Find Something You Enjoy – You need to really enjoy this challenge and embrace how good it can make you feel. Repetition of the same exercise, the same healthy meals and the same routine can lead to burnout. Try new sports, find new recipes and embrace all of the possibilities ahead!
- Don’t Forget to Praise Yourself – if you celebrate the small win’s you’re more likely to be motivated to continue no matter how small the goal you have achieved, pat yourself on the back!
- Make The Healthy Choice – you are always going to be in situations where unhealthy choices are tempting you – whether it be a glass of wine with some friends after work, the KFC on the way home or a sofa calling your name.
However; try and negotiate with yourself – if you’re going to drink alcohol, try and drink a glass of water before and after, or go for a lower sugar option. If you’re going to a fast food restaurant, try something new and go for a healthy option. That way you won’t feel like you’ve completely ruined your hard work and giving yourself a little treat will help you stay on track.Remember How Good You Feel – Hold this in your mind every time you feel like throwing the towel in.