With a new year, always comes a breath of fresh air and opportunity for refocus. It’s that time of year where everyone is setting New Year resolutions, thinking about the year ahead and planning where they want to go in life.
Hands up if you set yourself New Year resolutions or goals for 2018. Are you happy with them? Are they achievable? Are they going to help you become the person you want to be? Most importantly, are they maintainable?
Often we set ourselves New Year resolutions or goals which are far beyond what we believe we are capable of, other times we set them because we think that’s what we’re supposed to do – hello clean eating, daily body thrashing boot camps, and sugar-free diets. And whilst it is great to set the bar high, we need to make sure we’re setting ourselves realistic goals which push us to be a better person in the long run, whilst also remaining achievable.
As a new year begins, the most common resolutions made by people usually revolve around creating healthy habits – healthy eating and increasing their physical activity or fitness levels. The most important thing to remember when setting these types of goals or healthy habits is that you want to make sustainable lifestyle changes and habits which are maintainable.
Now you’ve probably heard habits take 30 days to create, but in actual fact a study by The European Journal of Social Psychology found it took on average 66 days to form a habit – meaning we shouldn’t expect major changes after a week or so! For some, healthy habits may stick after a week, for some, it could take 3 months. This time can be frustrating, un-motivating and tough, so here are some of my tips and pointers for making those new healthy habits maintainable!
Make small goals to achieve your big goal:
And WRITE THEM DOWN. This will maintain your motivation and confidence levels, and in return keep that fire in your belly to keep working hard to create that habit as you tick one goal off after another.
Consistency is key:
Don’t rush changes. Often when we rush into healthy lifestyle changes we see great positive changes in the first few weeks, but then they plateau or drop off, making it tough to keep that habit up. That’s when many people give in and go back to their old ways. Small consistent changes over a long period of time, create a maintainable lifestyle and eventually reap the rewards – I promise!
Take an 80/20 approach:
No one’s perfect all the time, we make mistakes and that’s okay. When creating a maintainable healthy habit, it’s important to take the 80/20 approach – not the all or nothing mindset. If you’re aiming to eat more healthily and cut out junk food – it’s okay to treat yourself once or twice a week or have a slip up. If you’re trying to up your physical activity – it’s okay to miss a session if your body is tired, you feel unwell, you need rest or something else comes up. Acknowledge it – refocus – and keep moving towards that healthy habit and lifestyle.
Focus on the positive:
Look for the positive in every situation. This links with the 80/20 approach, helping keep you motivated, focused and determined. Remember, the glass is half full – not half empty ;)
When we are prepared, it’s often much more easier to stick with new habits, creating a healthy routine. Get a diary or calendar and plan you week. Do you need to meal prep? Do you need to schedule in your exercise? Do you need to plan time out for self-care? PLAN out and organise what you need to. Make time for what you love and want to do
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR | CHRISTIE JOHNSON
I am an enthusiastic Nutritionist (soon to be Dietitian and Exercise Scientist) who lives and breathes all things food and fitness. I am also an Australian Age-group Triathlete, so I understand first hand the role nutrition and exercise plays in our lives. I believe in a holistic, individualised approach to health, and love helping people build their skills, knowledge and confidence to achieve their potential.
IG - @thefitnutkitchen