New year, new you...yep, we're sure you've heard it all before but here's how you can really stay on track for good this time...
As we start the new year with our best intentions to be fitter, healthier and happier (not to mention curbing our take-away coffee addiction) it can be all too easy to fall off the wagon once our initial enthusiasm fades and the January blues kick in. Here, Dr Petra Simic, Clinical Director at Bupa Health Clinics gives us her top tips on how to stick to our resolutions once and for all.
1. Check in with your body
The first thing to do before setting any type of goal is to really understand what your health and wellbeing needs are, rather than assume you know. Set health targets that are achievable and relevant to your lifestyle. For example, if you currently don’t do any exercise, start by going on a brisk daily walk. Once you’ve done that for a few weeks, go for a gentle, short run a few times a week. Once you’re comfortable with that, take the next step up and increase your activity a little more. Getting a health assessment is a great way to check in on your health, and help develop good habits. A full body health MOT looks at a variety of factors including fitness, weight, blood sugar, cholesterol levels and more, and together with a health adviser, you’ll set achievable goals that suit you and your lifestyle.
2. Start slowly, stay focused
Last year, a study found that 52% of people believe that setting smaller, more achievable goals help them stay motivated. Focus on one target at a time. Ultimately, all areas of health are interlinked so it’s better to focus and succeed in one area, which is likely to have a positive halo effect on the rest of your health and wellbeing. If you struggle to get enough sleep, make that your priority – the knock on effect of getting this right will surprise you.
3. Buddy up
Nearly 40% of Brits said that support from a group or a friend would help them stick to their goals – so find a buddy. Whether it’s joining a running club with a friend, heading out for a daily walk with a colleague at lunchtime or eating healthy meals at home with your partner, ask someone to join you and help you to both achieve a goal.