Healthy New Year!

shutterstock_325244891 (2)2016 has landed. Happy New Year!

This is the time of year to reflect on last year’s achievements and to set some exciting new plans and challenges for the coming months.

Improving health and fitness are two of the top resolutions made each year. Filled with good intentions, we blitz the gym, cut out rubbish from our diets and become tea-total (for a while at least). Changing your attitude is the easy bit.  Following through and implementing the change is more difficult!

Looking ahead to 2016, try some of these tips to make your wellness resolutions stick.

Make it achievable

All too often we set unachievable goals.  When you set your wellness goals for the New Year, baby steps are best.  For example, if the aim is to eat more healthily, adopting a clean eating diet might be a step too far if you currently live off takeaways and fast food.  Instead you could aim to home cook 2-3 meals a week or cut out fizzy drinks and incorporate more water into your diet.

Another way to set ourselves up for a fall is to set too many goals.  How many of us have a long list of goals for 2016?  The trick is to keep it simple and start with one or maybe two wellness goals for the year.  Once you succeed with this initial goal, add the next one.

Remember this is a journey not an end!

Be specific

If your resolution is too general and big, it is unlikely you will achieve it.  We all need something measurable and tangible (how else will you know you’ve done it?). “Lose weight” or “Get fit” are examples of general goals.  But a goal of “lose 5 kgs by May” or “run a 5km fun run by March” are specific and measurable.  Once you know this, you can break your goals down into smaller, shorter-term targets.

Without clear targets how else will you know when to celebrate?

Find a workout routine you really like

Slogging away in the gym is not the only way to get fit.  Even the most dedicated fitness devotee changes routine to keep things interesting.  If going to the gym does not inspire you, experiment with swimming, tennis, martial arts, yoga, ballet barre … whatever gets you off the couch.  The more you try, the greater the chances are of finding the workout routine you love.  You need to have fun or it becomes a chore.

If you love it, you will stick to it.

Build a support network

Convince a friend to be your workout buddy to keep you motivated.  Ask your family or bestie to hold you accountable.  If you are trying to overcome addictive behaviour like smoking or drinking, professional help and advice will improve your chances of success.  If you want to try a new sport or exercise, get help from an instructor so you get the most from it.

No one ever succeeds on their own.  The most successful people surround themselves with partners who keep them true to their vision.  So why not you?

Reward yourself

We all need a little treat to motivate us along the way. When you reach one of your hard-earned targets: the first week you run 30 minutes a day; holding a headstand; the first full month without fizzy drinks, give yourself a treat.

Try not to undo all your hard work!  A mani-pedi, new workout clothes, or a massage are great treats to keep you on track.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2016!


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