The holiday season is in full swing, which for many people means late nights, copious amounts of food and plenty of alcohol.
This period of living life to excess often leaves us is in an end of year slump, feeling drained, exhausted and a little rounder around the edges.
These feelings can often cause brief periods of motivation, where we decide we need to finally change and do something about it. Cue the inevitable ‘New Year’s resolution’, which will be before long forgotten about.
The problem is come January first we approach change by trying to completely overhaul our lives, making huge grand gestures and somehow convincing ourselves they’ll last.
Then after the first long day, craving for something sweet or other inconvenience, we start making excuses, followed by justifications about how it wasn’t right for us and sinking straight back into our old ways.
Often saying we will wait till January to get started is merely just an excuse to justify our actions right now. Deep down we know we won’t go through with it, but by somehow convincing ourselves there’s a chance we might, makes us feel slightly better about our present actions.
The truth is there will never be a right time to focus on your health, which is why you need to consciously decide the time for change is now. Not next week, not next month, but today.
That’s why rather than saying you will cut out all your favourite foods or spend every night in the gym, instead you need to aim to make small gradual changes, with the overall goal of long-term change.
You see by approaching improving your health in this manner, you can start to develop healthier habits, which after 21 to 66 days of continual repetition will simply become another part of your routine and the way you behave.
So start small, focusing on actions you are sure you can do each and every day without getting overwhelmed or adding unnecessary pressure on yourself.
For instance, as a starting point some ideas could be:
- Drinking a glass of water 15 minutes before every meal
- Going for a 10-minute walk before meals
- Adding a portion of vegetables to every meal
- Setting aside 15 minutes in the evening for yourself to relax
None of these take up much time, are daunting or difficult, meaning they will lay the perfect foundation for you to build on further.
If you start focusing on these actions now you’ll also reduce weight gain over the holiday period and transition into healthier habits with good intentions, rather than because of a sudden panic trying to undo all of this month’s damage.
You could even take this a step further and use this time to start attending the gym before the January rush, start developing a proper bed time routine or getting used to preparing healthy lunches for the week ahead.
It’s all about finding what works for you, fits into your routine and that you can act on regularly.
What do you think?
Can you think of any other easy to follow changes that will make a huge difference?
Share them in the comments below