Starting a new year, people often set themselves goals about what they want to achieve over the coming months or even throughout the year. Statistics say…
Success/Failure rates over the first 6 months 
- Of those who make a New Year’s resolution, after 1 week 75% are still successful in keeping it.
- After two weeks, the number drops to 71%.
- After 1 month, the number drops again to 64%.
- And after 6 months, 46% of people who make a resolution are still successful in keeping it.
- In comparison, of those people who have similar goals but do not set a resolution, only 4% are still successful after 6 months.
The reason these statistics reduce so rapidly, is because most people set themselves unrealistic goals.
Some of of the top New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, give up smoking or drinking. Whilst these goals are fantastic to have, it can be hard to keep them if you don’t have a plan or if you try to do too much at the same time.
For a healthier you this year, follow these tips to find it easier to stick to your goals.
- Write down your goals. Goal setting is a powerful way to keep on track with what you want to achieve. As this is for your health, it might be that you want to lose weight. Rather than saying I want to lose 3 stone in 3 months, try a different approach without the pressure of measuring your weight loss. Carbohydrates are one of the main reasons people gain weight and keep it on. When you eat too many carbohydrates that you don’t burn off through exercise, your body will naturally store the extra energy as fat cells. Therefore, set a positive goal by saying I will remove bread, pasta, rice, pizza and any other carbohydrate you might consume, from your diet. Start off with a month and then see how you feel after that. Most people feel different after a month of a low carbohydrate diet and most people have more energy, so there is less of a desire to go back to a high carb diet. Be sure to include replacements in your diet, so rather than opting for gluten-free, low-sugar foods, choose meat and fats rich in HDL fats, which are known as the good fats. Here’s a list to look at https://www.healthline.com/health/high-cholesterol/foods-to-increase-hdl#food-and-cholesterol
Write down the foods you are going to remove from your diet and write down the foods to include in your diet. Pin them to the fridge to remind yourself.
- Set yourself realistic goals. Remember being healthy is a lifetime achievement, not something that you need to achieve all within a month or two. It’s better to say to yourself I am going to implement small goals, such as the above – cutting out carbs for a month, then see how you go. You may want to cut back on something else the following month say alcohol. Maybe you’ve been drinking daily, so cut back to three times a week. The following month, you might say I want to exercise once a week. Take small steps for long-term gains. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
- Be kind to yourself and never ever give up. We always give ourselves a hard time, especially if you don’t achieve your goals. This is often when people will give up, but actually this is when you should be congratulating yourself for coming this far. If you’ve fallen off the wagon and succumbed to that chocolate bar, then don’t be hard on yourself. Just eat it and say to yourself, I am going to stay committed to not eating chocolate and get straight back on the wagon and move on. You are trying to change life-long habits here, so be kind to yourself. It’s very hard to make changes in your life, this is why it’s important to set realistic goals and take one step at a time.
- Learn to say no. This has to be one of the most powerful ways you can change your habits. Learning to say no to yourself and to others is a game-changer when it comes to taking control of your life. So often we say Yes to everything. Yes to that alcoholic drink, yes to the chocolate, yes to eating the same foods as your partner, but actually we are all different, so learning what is right for you is a great way to have control. I think we forget that we are not the same as others, we often eat and copy other people’s behaviour thinking it’s okay, but what is right for them isn’t always right for you. This is why keeping a food diary and track of what you are doing can really help you to take control of your health.
- Have a plan to come off anti-depressants or any other drugs that could be suppressing your health. When you visit the doctor, doctors want to help you, so often they prescribe drugs to help you manage your symptoms. They also only have a short time to see you and, on many occasions, you will not see or speak to the same doctor. This often means the continuity of care fails and therefore it’s important to consider what you are going to the doctors for and do some of your own research. Of course, doctors are there to help you, but having some understanding and knowledge of your own health can be advantageous. Anti-depressants are commonly prescribed to people for many health conditions, depression being the main illness, but they are also prescribed for anxiety and digestive issues too. Long-term anti-depressants can have serious impacts on the overall function of your brain, they can also cause weight gain and digestive problems. Finding natural ways to manage your health conditions is very important. Read inspirational books, join friendly groups, connect with people and above all meditate and pray. Simple actions such as meditation and prayer can help you to connect back to your spiritual-self, and work on healing yourself from the inside out. Creative activities are powerful to help you improve your mood.
- Keep a food and mood diary. This is a powerful way to track what foods agree with you and what foods don’t. If you have poor gut health, then you may find that you have developed intolerances to different foods and food types. When you have an intolerance to a food your symptoms might include bloating, excessive gas, stomach pain, nausea, headaches, skin irritation and more. Food intolerances mean that the foods you are eating are not being broken down and absorbed properly in the gut. This is usually to do with enzymes and the inefficiency to work. The best way to handle food intolerances is to remove them from your diet and focus on the foods your body can digest. Taking a digestive enzyme can be helpful too, as this will help improve the function of enzymes in your gut.
When you keep a food diary, make sure you write down everything you are eating throughout the day and how the food makes you feel. If you have a gut feeling about a certain food and think you might be intolerant to it, then remove it from your diet and look for a substitute. Do your research about food substitutes, there’s plenty of information online and if you are still not sure, then feel free to contact us.
- How is your gut health? Gut health is a revolution for this decade. Through new science, we have learned that the gut is linked directly to many long-term health conditions, mostly caused by poor diet, too much alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs and not taking care of yourself in general. Taking an approach to improving your gut health can be hugely advantageous. There’s a number of things you can do such as taking a high strength probiotic tablet (avoid over the counter probiotics, opt for high-strength ones found online 50 billion CFU per tablet or more is a good gauge). Include broth regularly. Broth is a super power food that has a range of amino acids that can help reduce gut inflammation, repair cell damage and improve the general function of the gut. Including broth daily, can help with weight loss too. It really is a win win. Start fermenting, either buy our fermented drinks or if you have time, start fermenting at home. Fermented drinks contain natural probiotics. These drinks have been around since the beginning of time and our bodies have been designed to need them. Sadly, because of convenience and refrigeration we have lost this way of eating, so it’s important to consider them again in your diet. This is a very natural approach to looking after the health of your gut.
- Intermittent fasting. Fasting is a great way to shrink your stomach and to reduce sugar cravings, as a natural result you will start to lose weight and feel better. Only fast if you need to lose weight, and if you are wanting to fast for other health reasons, then focus skipping a meal. Some people choose to fast from breakfast. However, breakfast is an important meal of the day, because you are breaking your fast from the night before, hence it’s name. Therefore, fast on your lunch, or even your dinner. You can try a 3-day fast on broth. This can be a powerful way to lose a little weight and also give your immune system a boost. It isn’t easy to fast on broth, so make sure you are not doing very much for those three days. You want to avoid burning too much energy, as you will find it difficult otherwise.
- Move more. One of the best ways to become healthier is to move your body more. When you burn more energy than you eat, you will naturally lose weight, as your body breaks down fat cells. Getting more exercise boosts your metabolism, so when your metabolism is working well you can be burning extra energy even when you are sitting around. The best sort of exercise to do is walking fast, swimming, jogging, rowing and if you can get in the gym, then lifting weights is great too. Get someone to help you.