New Year, New Start – Part V

How to cement the changes

How to make it stick!

Have you ever been in the situation where you’ve said “Right, from now on I’m going to eat healthier”. For the first few days you’re on fire, eating like a professional underwear model. Then after a couple of weeks you go to a friend’s birthday party and the most gorgeous chocolate cake is passed around. Suddenly, your mind starts playing tricks on you saying “Well why not, I have been very good, one won’t hurt”. The first piece of cake tastes fantastic, but then before you know it, you’ve had four slices! Your mind goes into overdrive “OH NO, it’s all lost, all my hard work undone”. In a flash the healthy life is over and it’s back to square one.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever experienced a situation similar to the example above, where such a good start is made and then it all goes to pot, I have and many people I know have. It can be hugely discouraging, and can put people off ever trying to improve their health. With many people making New Year’s resolutions, this time of year is packed with people trying (and often times failing) to make changes.

So once we make the changes, how do we make them stick?

Here are a few quick tips to help make the changes stick. Not all may work for you, but if one can help then it’s definitely worth the effort.

– Make small, easily achievable changes that don’t make too drastic a change to your lifestyle. This infinitely increases the chances of them being sustained. Remember; try to create habits rather than going for drastic quick fixes that you’ll never keep up

– Tell a few friends what you’re doing. Once you have spoken it out or written it down, your aims become public and you will be more committed to them. Your friends can also help to remind you, and become your accountability partners.

– Book into regular exercise classes, games with friends or different activities. When it’s an appointment in your diary (just like the doctors for example) there is more likelyhood you will keep it.

– Find ways to enjoy your new habits; don’t be afraid to try a few different things. And now you’ve made a start (no matter how small it is, it’s a start) why not arrange an event to work towards e.g. walking a local hill with friends/certain distance, and make it enjoyable!

– No one is perfect. The person who thinks they are is heading for a big crash! So this last tip may seem a little crazy, but I always advise to plan in a ‘treat day’ now and again, where you can have a few foods you enjoy. This can actually help to keep us on the wagon!

If you come up with any other tips you find that help make changes into habits, please let us know, sharing testimonies is one of the most powerful ways to encourage one another. Have a fantastic week.

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