When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, if you’ve managed to hold out for over a fortnight into January, you’re doing very well! However, we’ve reached the crunch point as 17th January is the most common date to give up on a resolution and it’s marked by Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day.
To help you avoid becoming a member of the quitters club, we’ve put together some top tips on how to do resolutions right.
Here’s how to avoid being the person who ditches their resolutions:
Set realistic goals
LloydsPharmacy Pharmacist Alison Freemantle says “Set realistic goals and breakdown your resolution into smaller, more manageable tasks. For example if you want to lose weight, why not promise yourself to always take the stairs over getting in a lift on your way to work, or swap your caramel latte for a hot water and lemon in the morning? Whatever your New Year’s resolution is, give yourself one small target to maintain every month and before you know you it you will have made a whole host of positive lifestyle changes. These tasks will feel less overwhelming and by setting a new one each month, you’ll keep your motivation levels up throughout the year.”
Think outside the box and be specific
Alison continues “Think outside the box when it comes to being healthy. For example if you want to be healthier, why not consider other ways you can improve your health, outside of dieting and exercising. For example, did you know that 44% of people taking medicines experience avoidable side effects? With that in mind if you’re taking medication, visiting a pharmacist for a Medicines Check-Up could potentially result in a much healthier and happier you in 2016. LloydsPharmacy offer free Medicines Check-Ups. Use the store locator on the website to find your nearest store.”
Check out Alison’s Monthly Challenge to help you make New Year’s resolutions more manageable:
Go for a FREE NHS funded Medicines Check Up. Make sure you’re taking your prescriptions in the right way, understand why you take them and how you can take them more easily. This service is useful for those taking multiple medicines, particularly for long term conditions.
Try to have an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening without looking at a mobile phone/tablet/device which will help you relax and could help you sleep better too.
Try to limit alcohol consumption. The current alcohol guidelines state that both men and women should drink no more than 14 units over the course of three days or more. This is the equivalent of six pints of average strength beer or seven glasses of wine.
Do 10 squats a day. Squats improve mobility in your hips and ankles as well as having a positive impact on posture and the best part is you can do squats anywhere, so there’s no excuse not to stick to it.
Swap full fat milk for skimmed milk. Low-fat milk is significantly lower in calories but still maintains the same level of proteins and vitamins.
Take the stairs instead of using the lift on your way to work. Walking has so many different health benefits and albeit a small challenge, you’ll feel a sense of achievement before heading to the office.
Go for a walk every Sunday, even if it’s only half an hour. It can give you time to reflect and may have a positive impact your emotional and physical well being.
This month, try a new sport. Sport is a great way of meeting new people and building confidence and the endorphins will also make you feel great after exercising.
Swap white bread and pasta for wholegrains. Refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta provide your body with fast-release energy and send sugar into your blood. Any sugar you don’t burn off will be stored as fat. However, wholegrains retain all of the goodness from the natural ingredients and contain lots of fibre.
Try to have your tea or coffee without sugar. By cutting this small thing out, you could significantly reduce your daily sugar in-take and you’ll quickly get used to the flavour.
Swap your morning tea or coffee for a hot water and lemon. This combination is more hydrating and has fewer calories than tea or coffee, the lemon is also a good source of vitamin C.
Drink eight glasses of water every day. Drinking more water will increase your energy levels, promotes weight loss and it’s great for your skin too.