Health Defence Blog
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Health Promotion Specialist

January 4, 2018

Make a New Year’s resolution ... that lasts!

It’s that time of year again. Christmas has been and gone… and it's time to start thinking about the year ahead and what you want to achieve. Don’t be one of the 80% of people whose New Year’s resolutions fail by February.

It doesn’t need to be all or nothing, it doesn’t even need to be a drastic change. The key to a successful New Year’s resolution is finding something that is realistic and achievable. Small enough to conquer, but big enough to give you a wee push.

Tips for setting your New Year's resolution ... 

  • Choose one thing to change at a time. Don’t try to stop smoking, give up junk food and run a marathon all at the same time. Pick one goal, conquer that and then tackle the next.
  • Set a goal and be very specific. Instead of saying for example 'I want to be healthier’ or ‘I want to do more exercise’, think about:
    • What you will do – e.g. I will walk around the block for 30 minutes
    • When you will do it – e.g. Tuesday and Thursday nights after work
    • And how you will overcome obstacles (what’s your contingency plan?) – e.g. If it is raining I will take an umbrella or walk on Wednesday night instead of Tuesday
  • Sign up for a challenge – wanting to exercise more is a great start… but as the months roll by its easy to let this drop away. Sign up to one of our fun events (from foamy fun runs to overcoming obstacles and abseiling) on the CHSS events site and boost your motivation!
  • Find your inspiration – trying to lose weight or taking up a new sport can be really daunting. Sometimes it can help to find someone who really inspires you! Read about how three CHSS staff went from being unfit, overweight and feeling flat, to fit, healthy and feeling fab!
  • Reflect on your progress and see how far you have come. Before and after measurements (for example, a blood test, weight or waist size measurement) can be really useful to see what progress you have made.
  • Focus on something other than diet or exercise – have you thought about how you feel emotionally or mentally? Sometimes a resolution might be as simple as taking 5 minutes out everyday to sit quietly or unplugging from your phone and social media after 8pm.
  • Give something back – signing up to do something nice for someone else usually means that you’re more likely to commit to it, as you don’t want to let them down. Have you ever considered volunteering? Find out how you can volunteer with CHSS here. You can give as much or as little time as suits you.
  • Make way for new things in 2018 with a clear out – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Drop your unwanted goods into your local CHSS Store and raise money to help people in Scotland affected by chest, heart and stroke illnesses (on average a bag of donations is worth £15 to us).
  • Share the love (and motivation) – tell friends and family about your goals or aspirations so that they can support you. Perhaps set a resolution with the whole family (for example, to eat dinner together at least two nights per week) or with your partner (to both leave work on time).
  • Finally, if February does come around and things have fallen by the wayside, don’t give up. One ‘bad’ day or week doesn’t mean that your healthy lifestyle goals are ruined – pick up where you left off and keep going! You have the whole year to get it right 😉

Talk to your GP or practice nurse about setting achievable healthy lifestyle goals for you and have a happy New Year!

Image credit: Ocusfocus | Dreamstime - New Year, New You

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***Disclaimer: always seek medical advice before starting a new diet, exercise regime or medication. The information in these articles is not a substitute for professional advice from a GP, registered dietitian or other health practitioner.

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