Forming New Habits for your Health Goals
Setting Realistic Intentions for a Healthier and Happier You
The start of a new year signifies new beginnings and is a chance to re-evaluate yourself, your goals and start afresh. Let’s make 2022 count by setting realistic, yet life-changing resolutions. It's nearly the end of January and you may well have "failed" to keep your resolutions.
New Year’s resolutions have a bad reputation – and for a good reason. Only 10% of people who set resolutions actually follow through with them and make lasting changes in their life.
This year it’s going to be different, because with the right mindset, a bit of self-love and realistic expectations you can go far. Here are some tips on how you can set realistic health goals for yourself in the new year. Don't forget - you can start new resolutions at any time. Resolutions are not just for New Year!
Intentions, Not Resolutions
Let’s start off by reframing resolutions as intentions. Resolutions can conjure feelings of good or bad and success or failure, whereas intentions offer us a place of compassion and growth. I invite you to focus on things that make you feel happy, healthy, loved and fulfilled. If it doesn’t serve you, let it go.
Forming New Habits
It’s hard to stop a habit cold turkey, so don’t change everything at once. Start with one habit at a time.
Our brains are wired to look for ways to save time and energy so, ingrained habits are much easier to perform than learning something new. Habits become so automatic that your brain isn’t even part of decision-making process anymore. This is why it’s essential we recognise our habits and make an effort to change the ones that aren’t serving us.
If your goal is to cut out sugar, start by cutting out sugar in your morning coffee first, then chocolate, then wine. Take baby steps. Replace a habit with a new one or stack your habits. Habit stacking is where you anchor a new habit to an old one.
Eat to Feel Good
Stop seeing your body as the enemy, instead look for ways to understand it and nourish it with what it actually needs. Eat so that you can feel better and looking better will be a side effect rather than the end goal.
Instead of jumping headfirst into a new diet, start paying attention to your body and note the effects of what you consume on how you feel. Keep a food journal and write down what you eat and how you feel immediately after and an hour after.
Our bodies are giving us feedback all the time. Once you start to understand how certain foods make you feel, it becomes easier to make different choices.
Don’t Aim for Perfection
Perfection is a myth and by aiming for it you’re only setting yourself up to fail. We have to accept fluctuations in our diet, physical strength, mood and understand that we cannot be perfect all the time.
When you overindulge on something naughty, don’t beat yourself up over it. You’re set up to fail. You’re being constantly advertised to and force-fed food products that are designed to be chemically addictive. Big food and the diet industry want you to fail so they can make more money from you.
Aim for balance; as long as most of the time, you’re making healthy choices, eating a slice of cake once in a while doesn’t make you a bad or a weak person.
Because we all overindulge sometimes, I’ve created a 3-step recovery aid to help rebalance your body and counteract that sluggish next day feeling from overindulgence. Rise & Shine can help you get back on track with healthy eating by supporting your body’s natural detoxification processes, steady blood sugar levels and giving you that extra boost when you need it.
There’s nothing worse than thinking you should be doing something and not doing it. Exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do, after all our bodies and brains have evolved over millions of years for self-preservation and to conserve energy at all costs. But I promise, once you get going and the endorphins kick in, you’ll feel an amazing natural high, which will make it all worth it.
Get yourself some new gym gear, a new outfit can motivate you to work out. Start with walking, outside or on the incline on a treadmill. Get a good audiobook or podcast in and off you go. Just override your brain and get moving.
Make Time For Yourself
Rest is one of the most important parts of living well. You should be actively making time for yourself, to rebalance your nervous system by doing deep breathing, meditation, journaling or taking cold showers.
Give yourself a break from the constant stimulation of computers, phones and the news cycle. Stepping away from your phone for an hour every day is essential. Take a social media detox, turn off the news and edit people you follow once a month.
Making time for yourself and finding ways to relax will result in less anxiety, fewer cravings and a happier mental state which will make it easier to make the right decisions for yourself in the future.
Good luck and let's enjoy 2022 to the full!