Many New Year’s resolutions fail within a few weeks but this year, Heart Research UK, as lead charity supporter of the National Obesity Forum’s JanUary campaign, is asking you to pledge to make small, sustainable changes for a healthier you in 2017.
Raised blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and poor glucose control, which can lead to a number of complex health problems including type 2 diabetes and heart disease, can all be associated with obesity.
Are you ready to embrace change in 2017?
Here are Heart Research UK’s tips to help you make 2017 different and guide you towards making those all-important small, but meaningful, changes that last and form habits for the rest of the year and beyond:
Choose a resolution that really matters to you. Perhaps you want to lose some weight, wish you did more exercise, want to finally stub out your smoking habit or enjoy a better work-life balance. Whatever you choose to change, do it for you.
Keep the cost down – making changes doesn’t have to be expensive. If it’s too costly it will likely be another reason to give up and make you feel worse when you do. There are plenty of ways to keep active and eat healthily without forking out for a pricey gym membership or gimmicky diet plans.
Be specific – create rules for your resolution so you’re clear whether you’re sticking to it or not. Instead of saying you’ll exercise more, say you will ‘go to Zumba every Monday’ or ‘have salad for lunch at least twice a week’.
Keep track of your progress – knowing how far you’ve come is a great incentive to keep going. Set smaller goals to start with but keep pushing yourself to do a little bit more once you’re there. Keeping a diary, blog or photographs can be a great way to do this.
Small changes matter – biting off more than you can chew could set you up to fail so don’t take on too much; be realistic and choose both something that you’ll enjoy and that you will stick to. However ….
Failing is part of the journey – don’t be too tough on yourself if you have a little slip. Changing habits is hard and it’s natural to revert back to old ways. Pick yourself up and try again, remember where you started and celebrate the little victories to keep your motivation strong.
Don’t go it alone – Try to buddy up with others who are looking to achieve similar outcomes, but be careful not to let quitters ruin your good intentions if they drop out.
2017 could be your best year yet, so share your New Year’s Resolution with #HealthyJanUary and #dosomethinggoodforU and make your pledge today.