By Joanne Hart for HelloDoctor.co.za
So, it’s the end of January, and you’ve already broken all your rules: You’ve eaten cakes (plural!), smoked a packet of cigarettes, and drowned your sorrows in alcohol…AGAIN. New Years Resolutions are overrated.
Well, we’re here to cheer you up: why shouldn’t this be the year that you get to feel fabulous? Even if you failed once, maybe you’ve just approached it in the wrong way. With just a few small changes to both your inner and outer world, you really can swing life in your favour. This year, we are bringing you facts and tools to help you make those bedrock changes. And they’re not expensive, or even that hard.
So, why have you failed already?
There’s nothing wrong with wanting it all, the mistake is wanting it all RIGHT NOW. While a 10-point change-my-whole-life strategy looks like a plan, it can turn into self-sabotage. If you want to make a few deep changes to your lifestyle, focusing on one at a time gives you a much better shot at success.
How will you deal with this failure?
Let’s set the scene for 2016: simply, it’s about changing how we look at things. Whether it’s what we eat, how we exercise or manage our stress levels, everything begins with choices, and the most one is to choosing to own your own health.
How Do You Make Those Choices?
So, how do you motivate yourself to take up trail-running, ditch sugar or to take the kids fishing? By telling yourself the truth: I want to feel better. Whether weighing 5 less kilos, doing better at your annual check-up or driving home with a car-load of giggling fishermen makes you feel better – that’s your personal goal. And feeling better will have you on the road to feeling fantastic.
The First Step:
So, to get started, you need to decide:
1) What are MY personal goals to feel better?
2) Turn these into S.M.A.R.T goals. S.M.A.R.T. goals are:
- Specific: Eg. I want to lose weight.
- Meaningful: Eg. I want to lose weight because it wil make me feel great.
- Achievable: Eg. I want to lose 5kg of weight by eating correctly and exercising, because it will make me feel great.
- Realistic: Eg. I want to lose 5kg of weight before the end of the year, by eating correctly and exercising, because it will make me feel great.
- Time-bound: Eg. I want to lose 5kg of weight by the end of 6 months, or before 31 December, by eating correctly and exercising, because it will make me feel great!
The next step – Putting it into action:
There’s a truly magic key here: lifestyle is all about habits. It may seem obvious, but it’s also the key to lasting change. Take weight-loss as an example: instead of suddenly stripping your life of every food you ever loved and then dealing with resentment and failure, rather form a new habit for breakfast and office lunch.
Then play detective: spot the times in your day when you tend to snack on sugary treats and replace those snacks with something healthy.
Do the same with exercise, getting more quality sleep, cutting down on stress, managing your time and improving your relationships – identify destructive habits and slowly replace them with healthy ones.
What are your SMART goals for 2016? Write them down, and start your journey to feeling fantastic today!