People have been making New Year resolutions for over 4,000 years.

While many of us will pledge to get fitter or lose weight, by 15th January, chance are that many of us will have returned to our old habits. We may start with the best of intentions but we can’t always get to the gym five times a week and the last of the Christmas Chocolate still needs eating up!

Sound familiar? It’s time to start a fresh and follow these simple rules to ensure you make your resolutions a reality in 2018.

1. Keep it real...

Wellness doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient with yourself and set small achievable goals along the way. Long-term results are best achieved through small, gradual changes. Want to run a 5K? Start by running 1-2 miles every few days. If you’ve never run before, start by walking, then jogging then running around the block. If you go all out and push yourself too hard, too fast, you may find it difficult to maintain new habits and end up giving up altogether.

2. Make a date...

We’re all busy. Unfortunately, none of us is sitting there thinking I don’t know what to do for the next hour, perhaps I’ll go for a run! Work out what your daily schedule looks like and figure out where exercise will fit into it. Even when things get busy, there's always a little time to spare in the schedule somewhere. Make a date with yourself and stick to it so it becomes part of your weekly routine. Routine is what will keep you on track when life gets busy.

3. Take a date...

Ask a friend or partner to join you. Having a “partner in crime” not only makes exercising more fun but it also helps keep you accountable…

4. Keep it fresh...

No matter how and when you choose to exercise, make it fun. If you join a class which is punishing, chances are you’ll flake out at the earliest convenience. Hate the treadmill? Try a Zumba or Spin class instead. If you're already going to the gym regularly but find it hard to stay motivated, try something new, ask a friend to join you or book a few sessions with a Personal Trainer to set some new targets. We all like reaching, and achieving a new level of fitness.

5. Have a plan B...

Last minute commitments are always going to pop up, and force you to change your exercise routine. Whenever this happens, work out a different time to fit some movement in. Can’t make Barre class on Monday? Schedule a class on Tuesday instead or take your trainers into work and go for a run in your lunch break.

6. Fuel yourself for success...

Ensure you always have some healthy snacks, protein bars and workout drinks to hand to ensure that you reach for the good stuff rather than indulging in a quick sugar or carb hit which will ultimately leave you feeling lethargic.

7. Cut yourself some slack...

We all get sick every now and then or have a crazy day when going to the gym is the last thing on your mind. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Do what you can and make tomorrow a new day. Remember – keeping real and achievable goals will lead to healthy, long-lasting results.

8. Ditch the diet...

We all know that anything that says ‘DIET’ on it is probably not feeding us and is laden with sugar, chemicals and preservatives. Ditch this so called ‘Diet or Low Fat Food’ food and reach for whole, plant based foods which are easier for your body to digest and process. A handful of almonds or a homemade protein bar will do you far more good in the long run. Not got time to make a protein bar? Here's my favourite from what's out there. I have these in my bag, desk drawer and glove compartment of the car at all times to fuel me without leaving me with a sugar dip 30 minutes later! Interestd in getting my favourite recipes and nutriton philosophy? Join my private FaceBook group Change Your Eating, Chnge Your Life. 

9. Eat for success...

Never skip meals or starve yourself. When your calorie intake drops so does your metabolism and deprivation only leads to cravings and future binges. If you’ve eaten nothing since breakfast that chocolate muffin beside the checkout will be hard to resist! And a milky latte with sugar or syrup isn't fuelleing you in a good way despite the number of calories it contains! 

10. Water, water everywhere...

Most of us don’t drink enough water. Each day, we should aim to drink 2 litres. While this might sound a lot at first, adding some fruit, cucumber or herbs can help you enjoy more water. Consider replacing tea and coffee with herbal or green tea too. Another great tip is to have a large 1 Litre bottle of water on your desk so you reach for it instinctively rather than havng to stop and go to the water cooler. 

11. Dream on...

If you eat healthily during the day your blood sugar should stay stable and help you enjoy a great night’s sleep. If you’re on the sugar roller coaster and sleep is erratic, then it’s much harder to stay motivated and energised.

12. Spoil yourself...

Whatever your goal, celebrating your progress, no matter how small, is key to your success. Celebrate each milestone you reach with a treat – but keep it healthy! Booking a manicure after a week of going to the gym will ensure you stay motivated to get to the gym during week two, or a drink with a friend after a dance class will keep up the camaraderie and support your goal of working harder next week.

I’d love to know what changes you’re making in your life in 2018.  Share them with me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

 

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