How are those new year good intentions going? With nearly half of us resolving to lose weight and over 30% saying they want to improve their diet, it’s safe to say that many of us want to ‘be healthier’ this year. But more than a third of resolutions don’t even make it beyond January, let alone last until February. So, here’s how to make those resolutions stick.
Make it fun
According to health coach and wellness blogger, Laura Agar Wilson, if you can pair new habits with other enjoyable activities, you’re more likely to stick with them. In her feature, ‘10 ways to make healthy habits stick’ she suggests going for a run while listening to your favourite podcast – and tricking yourself: ‘Can you distract yourself away from something that would jeopardise your habit? If so, go for it. It could be your saving grace!’ she says.
Think small to achieve big
- Be realistic
There’s no point saying you’re going to go to the gym five times a week if your nearest gym is a long way away and you already struggle to find time to floss. Your new resolution should fit with your current lifestyle. ‘Make sure good habits are supported by convenience and bad habits are blocked with inconvenience,’ says Agar Wilson.
- Set specific, achievable goals, broken down into small steps.
For example, ‘I’m going to eat one more piece of fruit or veg a day’ rather than ‘I’m going to be healthy this year’.
- Be motivated
Your resolutions have to be changes you really want to make.
'People often give up on their health goals because they want instant results,’ says Paul Chamberlain, nutrition and education director at Solgar. ‘But it can take three months to see the result of positive lifestyle changes, such as a change in diet or a new exercise regime.’
As well as consistency, we need to be mindful that in the cold dark months of winter we may not be feeling our best. ‘If you’re finding that your energy levels are low and your usual healthy meal planning routine has gone out of the window, taking a top quality, comprehensive multivitamin is a good idea,’ says Chamberlain. Solgar Omnium® contains magnesium, vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6, which all aid energy levels. And don’t run before you can walk on the fitness front either. Skipping a warm up or rushing home before stretching is a sure-fire road to injury. Build in recovery days to allow for muscle growth and repair. Set yourself small weekly goals to keep progress slow but steady – try using an app to help with this.
Ensure your diet is on point
Loved Veganuary and want to carry on – or already embracing a plant-based diet? ‘People following a vegan diet need to include Vitamin B12-fortified foods such as nutritional yeast, Marmite and non-dairy milks and yogurts, says Chamberlain. Vitamin B12 is found predominantly in animal products (red meat, chicken, etc) so vegan and vegetarian diets may be deficient in Vitamin B12. Solgar® Methylcobalamin (Vitamin B12), is suitable for vegans and is dairy and gluten free.
And finally, be accountable
If you chart your progress as you go with photos or a spreadsheet or journal - and take a friend along with you on your health and fitness journey, you’re far more likely to achieve your goals…until your summer hols, at least!