December is a time for holiday celebrations. But as the end of 2019 approaches, it is also a time for reflection, inspiration and goal-setting.
In hope of making positive changes, people have been making New Year’s resolutions for decades. But, the practice is often under scrutiny because many people fail to maintain their resolutions.
Let’s take a look at what New Year’s resolutions are, some examples of health-focused resolutions and how you can stick to them.
What are New Year’s resolutions?
New Year’s resolutions are personal goals which people make for the coming year, as the current year ends. Health-focused resolutions will be explored in this article but resolutions can fall under any category.
How to pick a resolution?
To choose a resolution, you need to reflect and decide on what you would like to work towards.
Studies show there are four behaviours which lead to a healthier lifestyle: regular exercise, a healthier diet, not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption to moderate. In fact, those who demonstrate these behaviours live, on average, seven years longer.
If you are currently struggling with one of these four behaviours - it’s time to commit to change!
Here are more ideas:
- Aim to eat mindfully: Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full. Try eating slower, paying attention to what you are consuming.
- Increase your veggie intake: Whether it’s adding a handful of baby spinach to your smoothie or snacking on carrots - this will increase the vitamin and mineral content in your diet. Start small, build-up and get creative!
- Reduce your consumption of sugary fizzy drinks: This will dramatically reduce the amount of sugar in your diet, reducing the risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
- Walk for 30 minutes per day: Any amount of exercise is better than nothing. Try exploring aesthetic parks.
- Have a daily alcohol quota: One drink for women, two for men.
Sticking to it
Choosing a resolution is easy. Sticking to it? Well, that’s another story.
When making resolutions, plan to execute them in ways you will enjoy the most in the long-term. For example, if you love dancing, try a Zumba class to increase your exercise.
Change the way you think about resolutions. Consider exercise sessions as something you need to do, rather than a choice activity.
Start small and change one behaviour at a time. This will be less overwhelming, and you will be more likely to succeed.
Talk to someone and share your experiences with them. Discussing your progress with family and friends will help you feel supported. Talking to a therapist may also help.
Don’t punish yourself for not sticking to your goal for one day. Be proud of how far you’ve come, try harder the next day and make alterations if you need.
And remember – it will be hard at first. But if you stick to your resolution long enough, it will become a habit. And when it’s a habit, it will be easy to stick to.
Happy resolution setting!
09 December 2019