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How to stick to your New Year's Resolutions

Have you made any resolutions for the new year?

I never do, but I know that many people typically set goals of eating healthier, exercising more, etc. I know how hard this kind of change can be. I actually just had a conversation with my partner this weekend on our morning walk and he mentioned exactly these two goals for the new year: he wants to exercise more and eat more healthy too. So I asked him what kind of strategies he would put in place in order to keep to his resolutions (it's not that it's the first time he's making these resolutions....) and it became obvious that he hadn't thought of any, just set the intention to do so.

That's awesome and it's the first step: setting the intention. But then what?

If you don't set yourself up for success, you're not going to stick to your resolutions at least not for long.

So let's stick to the 2 examples of exercising more and eating more healthy - here are 9 tips to help you to stick to your goals:

  1. Set a reasonable goal: if you're coming from 0 exercise or a full carb diet, set a reasonable goal first like 15 minute workouts every weekday just after waking. Or adding vegetables to each meal and increasing the fat and protein while lowering the carbs.

  2. Exercise in the morning so you don't have an excuse like work or other things that can get in the way

  3. Prepare your exercise gear in the evening so you just have to get up and dress when you wake up - no discussion if you do it or not - you just go on autopilot. The same goes for your food actually - if you are taking a lunch to work, prepare it in the evening, also your breakfast, so you don't get in the situation to not have the time in the morning because you have to rush out the door.

  4. Set a reminder in your agenda for your workout or get a workout buddy that will keep you accountable to doing it.

  5. Make sure there's a reward after you exercised: either you cheer yourself (yes it sounds silly but it will release dopamine in your brain and make you want to do it again so that you actually start to look forward to your workout sessions in the morning) or you reward yourself with a nice breakfast, cup of coffee or anything like this you'd enjoy.

  6. Sit down on Saturday and Sunday and make a meal plan for the week. What vegetables or healthy dishes do like? Why aren't you making/eating them more often? If there's a dish you like a lot, like spaghetti bolognaise for instance - why not replace the spaghetti by spaghetti squash and add spinach to your bolognaise? You could also swap the meat by lentils if you want to try a vegetarian version. Make a cauliflower or almond meal pizza crust and top with tons of vegetables.... you get the idea!

  7. Clean up your pantry: don't keep foods in the house that you don't want to eat and will if they are in the house

  8. Get your family to support you by either adhering to the same meals or not trying to persuade you to have pizza with them.

  9. When you get cravings or want to snack between meals, ask yourself if you would actually eat a full meal right now. If the answer is no, you're not hungry but just trying to fill a void. Think about what that might be: are you stressed? looking for comfort? recompensation? procrastinating? Instead of snacking, make a chai tea, drink some water, or take a short break and walk around the block. You'll see that you actually don't want that snack anymore....

Want to know where you stand with your health to set the right priorities? Book a health check up to get your answers!

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