New Year’s Resolutions – who’s made a list? According to Statistic Brain the top resolution for 2014 in America was to lose weight… hmm… no surprises there. This was followed by: Getting organised, spending less and saving more, enjoying life and staying fit and healthy. They also note that 45% of Americans make a new year’s resolution and about 8% successfully achieve their resolution. Wow only 8% achieve their goals…seems a lot of people don’t follow through on these resolutions! Why?
There is a lot of reasons why people do not follow through with their goal setting. I see this not only when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, but more frequently when I see clients and they need to make changes to their health. They have tried diet after diet or massive life overhauls and it just never works. Why?
- They make massive resolutions that are simply too hard to keep.
- They don’t make a success plan – they only have made the ‘end goal’ but not the ‘how am I going to get there’ goal.
- They make resolutions that come from a place of negativity, guilt, self-disapproval or self-loathing.
Sometimes small little changes are easier to stick with rather than making a big, massive change all at once! Try making small, baby changes ever few weeks and by implementing them slowly – you are kind of playing ‘stealth mode’ with yourself and you won’t even know you are making the changes. Then before you know it, these changes become habits. New, happy, healthy habits!
The other thing I like to focus on (or rather NOT focus on) with clients is diet. Everyone gets fanatical about changing their diet and weight loss in the New Year, but you know what? There are many, MANY other important factors that impact weight loss and they have NOTHING to do with diet.
So to kick off your New Year we have 5 simple changes you can implement in your life that will end up adding so much more to your health and your life than a negative New Year’s resolution that chances are, you won’t end up keeping anyway.
It is up to you if you want to try all 6, or just incorporate 1 or 2 into your routine and add in the others 2 or 3 weeks down the track. It is also worth while making a list of other small changes or routines you want to add into your life so that in 3 weeks, you have some newbies you can add J and you can happily tick off these ones as ones that are successfully incorporated into your daily life!
Some of these tips you may already know – but are you always doing them? They are only simple, but simple is good and simple always gets overlooked. You might not think that they are life changing, but keep them up and just see how they will positively impact your life and your health.
- During your lunch break or at some point each day – go outside and take 3 deep belly breaths. Even if you have to set a reminder on your phone, this is a great one to do daily – EVERY DAY! It helps to reduce stress and relax your body. A relaxed body loses weight (if needed), whereas a permanently stressed body will not – regardless of how good your diet is.
- Eat breakfast sitting down and relaxed. Even if this means setting your alarm clock 30 minutes earlier. Eating relaxed is fundamental for good digestion and for reducing stress. When you eat on the run or in your car – your body is not relaxed and you cannot digest your food properly.
- No technology when eating. Put the phone DOWN! Scrolling on your phone when you are eating does not make for a relaxing meal. When you are distracted, chances are you will eat more, you are not relaxed and you are not paying attention to your body’s cues. Sit peacefully and enjoy your meal – no distractions.
- Get to bed 30 minutes earlier! Want to lose weight? Make sleep your number one propriety. It is as simple as that. Aiming for a bed time of 10pm (or earlier!) is fantastic for your health, for reducing your stress and for weight loss if you need to lose some kg’s.
- Give yourself a compliment. When was the last time you looked in the mirror and had a positive thought about yourself? Try to make it a mental habit that every time you look in the mirror you notice something positive. Try it! You may find it harder than you think or think that it is silly – which is even more of a reason to do it. If you are not saying something nice about yourself when you look in the mirror, what are you saying to yourself? Because you are saying (thinking) something. So often we are our harshest critics and a New Year should start with some self-love, not self-loathing.
- Make a coffee date with a friend! In our fast paced world we can get so caught up with social media and our busy life that we actually forget to see REAL friends…not just ‘heart’ their Instagram pictures. Loneliness and social isolation really is not good for our health – that is proven. So it is good for your health and your soul to make a weekly or fortnightly date to catch up with a friend. Go out for a coffee, cook a meal together or even just go for a walk in a local park. Communication and connection is what we need. Laugher and good chats really can be the best medicine!
So there you go – 6 simple things (that have nothing to do with a diet!) to add to your daily routine that will positively impact your health. Let’s start 2015 on a positive note – no crazy diets or no self-loathing allowed. Let’s replace that with nourishing our whole body – looking after the mind, body and soul.