The new year gives many people the chance to make a resolution to change an aspect of their live that bothered them for the previous twelve months (or longer).
When it comes to setting goals for making improvements the key to success is in planning and setting reasonable expectations. Without achievable goals you are destined to have little to no success but with a few sensible tweaks you can be heading in the right direction by January 1st.
Eating healthy, getting fit, losing weight and quitting smoking are some of the most popular resolutions worldwide and these tips can help to ensure you have success.
A full diet change can be a big deal, especially for people with families to cook for too. Changing the diet of everyone in your household overnight can make you the enemy even if your intentions are good. It can also be a shock to your system and make it more difficult to stick to your new regime.
- Avoid fad diets – If you want to get a book to use as a guide then pick something which gives sensible nutritional advice and not just the latest “miss out x, y & z to drop 10 pounds a week”. A solid understanding of nutrition is far more important than finding that one magic ingredient that you need to cut. A good nutritional education can help the rest of your family too, providing a solid foundation for childrens eating habits long into the future.
- Exercise too – Eating healthy is a great step, but it needs exercise too to shed the excess pounds. If your reading a book that says you dont need to exercise to get fit then throw it out and research some basic exercises you can do to get your heart rate up. Increased heart rate burns calories – fact.
- Start small – Just making one small change can lead to big differences in your health. Perhaps just swap one meal for a healthy alternative each day to begin with, or reduce your fast food consumption each month.
- Eat breakfast – The jury is out on this one, but I personally think its great advice. For most people considering a diet, overeating or snacking on the wrong types of food is the primary problem. A good breakfast can give you energy for the day as well as help to prevent the hunger pangs from hitting as you pass that vending machine.
Exercise is key here, and if I can get fit so can you! Even overweight, depressed & suffering from chronic lung disease I managed to start an exercise program that was light but helped to build my core strength and fitness.
You can start with walking, or jogging and you dont need to go far – just 20 minutes a day is an improvement if you currently get nothing, and in the fitness game every little bit of physical exertion really does help. The goal here is simple, no mad training regimes, or a need to join a gym just get your heart rate up and let the pounds drop off.
Dont like the idea of running through your neighborhood? Fifteen minutes of frisky fun in the bedroom can burn up to 100 calories, and an hour of intense yoga can burn up to 700! – Yoga is great for focusing the mind and relaxing too so its win-win.
- 30 Minutes exercise a day will give you noticeable changes in your body within just 4 weeks.
- Weight lifting is a great way to burn calories.
- Yoga burns up to 700 calories an hour and gives you a full body workout – its greate for meditation too.
I was at 60 a day with chronic lung disease before I finally gave up – but if there is one thing I would advise against its quitting at new year. It’s just too much pressure for the average smoker and if you relapse you have to deal with the guilt and stress of starting again (without the convenient new year party to mark the ocassion) Whilst quitting at midnight may give you a great anniversary its better to plan a course of nicotine replacment therapy and work with your doctor to ease the withdrawal.
If I had to give one bit of advice to a smoker trying to quit it would be this – don’t panic if you slip up. It’s better to regroup and try a different approach than live with the stress that sticking to a cold-turkey regime can bring. You need to be physically and mentally in control before you give up the tobacco so quit smart.
- Remember to quit smart, have a plan to cut down first and stick to it.
- Use nicotine replacement to ease the cravings at first, I highly recommend the 1mg Nicorette spray.
- Dont let guilt or shame be part of the quitting process.
- Enlist your family to help, kicking the habbit can be a very stressful time and you need their support.
We would love to hear what you have planned for 2015 – and any tips you have for sticking to your goals – use the comments below.