So, to aid you on your way, we’ve come up with some reasons, means and ways to stay motivated for the three most popular resolutions to ensure 2016 is the year you finally make the changes your life needs…
For this resolution to be successful, you’ll require an enormous amount of willpower. For many, habit controls when they smoke – with the morning coffee, after a meal, whilst walking the dog – so to break the habit, you may need to change your routines as your willpower slides. You need to identify your own ‘habits’ and find ways to break them; try having your morning coffee at work indoors, where it’s illegal to smoke, or try walking your dog a different route so you have new scenery to look at.
Alternatively, you could try replacing your cigarettes with something else, such as mints or chewing gum. If you’ve tried this and it just doesn’t work, you may need to invest in one of the many over-the-counter nicotine remedies to help your body cope with the withdrawal slowly and effectively.
If you’re really struggling, or have even given in to smoking again already, there are people who can help – you don’t have to do it alone. Visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree for advice and to order your free Quit Kit.
The start of a New Year always sees numerous ‘celebrity’ fitness DVDs released, so why not buy one and aim to do it at least three times a week. Don’t go crazy to start with, as if you’ve not exercised for years, your body will need time to adjust, so try exercising every other day to begin with and after a fortnight or more, you can increase this to the recommended five times a week.
Once the weather brightens up, try different things, such as a run in the park, a game of rounders or football with the children, or even organise a day out at your local activity centre and try canoeing, rock climbing, or raft-building.
With the average festive weight gain standing at a button-popping 5lbs, your jeans are probably feeling even tighter than before Christmas. People tend to make losing weight more difficult than it actually is; it’s actually pretty simple. You need to eat less calories than you burn and increase your activity levels. However, many people tend to focus on the short term, when they should be looking at the long term.
Firstly, don’t fad diet. The claims made by these fad diets are just too unrealistic to be maintained – no one can exist for any length of time of just cabbage soup or without carbs! As soon as you reach your goal on these diets and you return to a ‘normal’ way of eating, you’ll pile the weight back on, and more!
Also, don’t be fooled by the word ‘detox’. Many detox programmes claim to rid your body of toxins that have built up during your indulgence, but there’s no scientific proof that they work and research suggests that detoxing could actually be counterproductive. These programmes claim the pills, juices and treatments they offer help detox your body, but what they neglect to tell you is that your body is already extremely proficient at detoxing itself. It’s been doing it for years! All you really need to detox your body is plenty of fresh air, eight glasses of water a day, the recommended amount of exercise (30 minutes three to five times a week) and a good, undisturbed night’s sleep of eight hours.
Hopefully you’ve made good strides in getting back to eating healthier eating routine, but now is the time many dieters are tempted by chocolate, cakes and crisps – all the usual bad food – so to stay motivated, Aspire would like to suggest a reward scheme.
You need to set a realistic weight goal – 1lb a week is not only realistic, it’s healthier, meaning you’re more like to keep the weight off once it’s lost – then set yourself smaller goals; so, if you’d like to lose a stone, why not give yourself a treat once you’ve lost 4lbs – and not a food-related treat. Choose something that will make you feel good, such as a manicure, a massage or even that designer pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on! By setting smaller goals and rewarding yourself for your success, you’re more likely to stay motivated and actually reach your goal!
Whatever your New Year’s Resolution this year, you’ll need willpower, so stay focused on the end goal, whether that’s to be healthier, to be a slim bride, or even to change your career, and 2016 will be your most successful year yet!H