Make your 2016 resolutions last!

Joanne Hart for

So, what are (or were) your New Year’s resolutions for 2016?Let’s take a chance and guess: like us, you want to go back to gym or get back on your bike – maybe you’re going to cut out junk food and hit the salad bar Pass of Exile. More importantly – are you still keeping them?

We want to do better, we really do! We want to eat healthier, be fitter, and feel better about ourselves, but something’s lacking in the follow through! It’s estimated that more than 75% of New Year’s resolutions end in failure. So, what can we do to make sure we really DO exercise more or DO eat more veggies?

Here are some practical ways to get it right in 2016:

  1. Write your goal down – whether it’s a Post-It note on your mirror, or a mobile reminder – put it somewhere that will get your attention.
  2. Break it down into actionable steps. Set yourself small, manageable steps that make it more possible to stick to your resolution, and turn it into a good habit.
  3. Take one step at a time, not many. Trying to change your whole life all at once is self-defeating. Make a list of all you want to accomplish in 2015, then focus on completing each step, one at a time.
  4. Don’t just tell a friend about your resolutions, get them to join you and form a supportive partnership. This way, you’re both accountable.
  5. Give yourself a reward when you accomplish each step, and when you reach your goal. Sometimes that light at the end of the tunnel is the only reason to keep at it.
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What’s in it for you?
A recent study found that people who started with four specific healthy lifestyle behaviours lived an average of 14 years longer than people with none of them. Having a “to do” list of 1 or more New Years’ resolutions sounds manageable doesn’t it? However it still takes dedication and commitment, and whether you decide to do that on January 1, or any other day in the calendar year, is up to you, just as long as you do it!

The Big Four
You probably want to know what those 4 lifestyle behaviours are – you know them already, but just in case you needed a reminder: physical activity, moderate alcohol consumption, not smoking and eating at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. It’s worth 14yrs of life – so go for it!

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