Making changes achievable in 2019
What are your New Year resolutions/intentions/goals? Will you stick to them? What can you do differently this year to turn healthy lifestyle and nutrition changes into a reality and life long?
Making changes in your diet and lifestyle can be challenging
At this time of year, we typically start off with great intentions but they somehow dwindle out by the end of February beginning of March. The gym is always packed in January and February but it steadily drops off by the time March comes along. Is this a reflection of all the new year goals we make?
I find it quite difficult to change at this time of year. It is winter! It is cold, the nights are long and the mornings are dark. If I listen to my body I want to rest and recover. Especially after Christmas and New Year. I do have that feeling however that it is a new year and therefore I want to implement change and improve my well-being. Listening to your body and mind, giving it what it needs can be beneficial. If you need more sleep or rest then do so, make that your new goal!
Do you feel like exercising but don’t feel like a long, intense session at the gym? Then take up another exercise – ask yourself what type of exercise you would love to do. It might be a short walk in nature, walking into work or getting off one bus stop earlier. Or you might want to try a class. You may wait till the better weather if you don’t feel ready in January! Ask yourself what is right for you right now.
Do you partake in new year challenges such as Dry January? What happens after January? If old habits return then think of another challenge. Could reducing the number of days you drink and overall drinking be more achievable longer term?
Eat foods you feel like eating. Comfort foods come to mind. Have a think what your favourite comfort foods are. Making food from scratch can be a therapeutic experience as well as good for you and may be an ideal resolution to make. Start with something simple if you don’t cook. Find inspiration from books, websites, social media, friends and family.
Make any changes achievable and small.
If you want to start cooking from scratch and have never done so then set yourself cooking one meal a week initially, master that one meal. Make it simple - tomato sauce for pasta, leek and potato soup, porridge or scrambled eggs! Buy a cookery book that has an easy, small number of ingredients and none that require going to a specialist shop to buy.
Say you want to start to eat healthier food, increase your vegetables. Add one extra vegetable to your plate at mealtimes once a week, frozen peas are always a good place to start. Increase to more vegetables as this becomes a habit.
It is possible to make changes in January, however, if you feel it is not the right time of year wait till you feel ready when it will be achievable. Set your own goals and remember it is winter, we are designed to hibernate so don't beat yourself up if you do sleep, watch tv and eat more. Meals that fill you up to help with the winter are slow cooked meat and veg dishes such as casseroles, chilli, curries, soups and cottage pie - add seasonal root vegetables, pulses, lentils and cabbage to make them hearty and filling.
Stay warm, rest and wait patiently for the spring!
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