180 Nutrition: So here we are; 2021 is upon us, and as we settle into life post-holidays we’re all in a desperate bid to undo some of the overindulgence we did to our bodies over the festive period!
If you’re like most of the population (read normal!) you’ll now be feeling overtired, sluggish, and will probably have gained a few extra kilos while over-indulging in rich foods, alcohol, and lack of exercise throughout the holidays. That’s not to put a negative spin on it, life is for living and having an active social life is part of a balanced lifestyle which definitely shouldn’t be condoned.
But now it’s time to get to work!
As the clock strikes ‘resolution’ on any New Year’s Day, it’s the most common time to make drastic promises to overhaul your life and live as healthily as possible.
Alcohol is still sweating out of your pores, you’re feeling low, and you want to notice an immediate difference in the way you feel, so you resolve to do whatever it takes to get your health in check. The problem with this is that much as that view is applaudable; New Year’s resolutions simply don’t work.
In our opinion, a single year is full of 365 opportunities to make a start on improving your health and fitness and with every day bringing a chance for you to begin again, here are five reasons that New Year’s Resolutions just don’t work:
1) ‘Getting healthy’ is too vague a goal
When you’re tired, carrying excess weight, and hungover from weeks of social functions and holidays; your immediate goal is just to feel better. We do this in the best way we know how which is to start exercising regularly, eat healthy meals and ditch the alcohol.
What you’re effectively doing in this less than strategic way of improving your health, is overhauling your life overnight and expecting the changes to last! New Year New You tip: Pick one area and make that change a habit before moving on to the next thing. For example, add thirty minutes of gentle exercise to your day, five days a week, and once this becomes a habit, focus on your dietary goals. It has been proven that changing one habit at a time will lead to much more success rather than ripping your whole life apart overnight.
2) New Year’s resolutions are often short-term goals
You want to lose weight, get fit and cut back on alcohol. This is easy to say when staring at a function-free January, but once the parties and holidays start creeping back in, you’re ill-equipped to deal with those hurdles without a long-term plan. When life has settled down and is back to normal, people tend to go off track altogether and revert to their old ways because they aren’t properly prepared.
New Year New You tip: Make permanent changes. Allow yourself treats and down-time and don’t be hard on yourself when you give into temptation.
3) Resolutions come from other people, not from within
Your kids want you to stop smoking; your partner wants you to lose a few kilos or your sister wants a gym buddy and thinks you should be more active… all good examples of resolutions that are often made to please other people.
Unless the idea of wanting to change comes from you and you alone, it’s unlikely that the changes will be permanent.
New Year New You Tip: Focus on what it is that will make YOU happy. Visualise what you want to achieve and how it will make you feel before you start, and be led by that – not what those around you say.
4) You aren’t committed
Making changes which create a healthier you takes commitment. It takes hard work and dedication to give up habits in favour of introducing new ways of living into your life. With a New Year’s Resolution, commitment is often lacking because you’re swept up in the moment of everyone around you trying to improve themselves and you say things without understanding their true implication.
New Year New You tip: Choose areas that have been making you feel uncomfortable long before the New Year. Do you feel like you need to be more active, choose healthier foods more often or give up smoking? To be successful, this won’t just have occurred to you on New Year’s Eve; you will have felt it long before.
5) Your resolutions are unrealistic
Instead of starting an exercise program suited to your current level of fitness; you aim to be the next CrossFit champion; instead of losing weight gradually at a pace that can be maintained, you want 20 kilos gone by Easter; you get the picture!
When setting unrealistic goals your steely determination wavers extremely quickly as you just don’t get results fast enough and you become disheartened.
New Year New You tip: Set small milestones and review your next goal as you achieve each one. As far as your health and fitness are concerned, there’s no truer anecdote than ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ Oh, apart from ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint!’
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using the New Year as a time to make changes to your health and fitness but it’s not the ONLY time to make changes. Every single day you have the best opportunity to start again and make changes which will last a lifetime.