January is when many of us resolve to get fitter and healthier during the year ahead. But while we start enthusiastically; buy new trainers, kit, gym memberships and watch what we eat often our enthusiasm wanes as quickly as it came.
Statistics show only 60% of people who commit to a new programme of exercise and diet will continue it past the end of March.
The key to making sustainable change is to start by making one or two small, manageable ones. At work we tend to set smart goals, those we can measure and realistically achieve within a timeframe and it is the same for lifestyle changes. I always start by setting myself a goal that I can monitor and see regular progress, in doing so it motivates me to keep going.
Over the past few months, I have been helping people lose weight and in every case I find managing expectations is the key to ensuring they keep motivated for longer.
For example; most people who want to lose weight believe they can easily drop 4lbs a week maybe more. This is true if you starve yourself but unpractical if you want to lose weight over the longer term. A more sensible goal is to aim for 2lbs a week, which is sustainable and achievable over a long period of time.
When you make changes to diet or exercise, fatigue is often a key factor that stops you continuing. Tiredness and exercise go hand in hand but doing more exercise will invigorate you. To combat the fatigue, get proper rest into your daily routine. It is unlikely to be practical to nap during working hours so try setting a bedtime alarm and get to bed for a full 8 hours sleep a night. Also, make sure you eat regularly and drink enough fluids as you feel less tired when hydrated.
Finally, find people to support you in your bid to reach your goals. Tell your family, friends and colleagues and together make 2019 the year you keep your healthy resolutions, I promise you will feel better for it.