We’re approaching ‘new year, new me’ season, where millions of well meaning individuals set themselves health and wellness goals for the year ahead. And there’s nothing wrong at all with doing this. Of course, you don’t need a new year to turn over a new leaf with your health, but if a fresh new page on a new calendar gives you the motivation to get started then roll with it! The problem is, many of these resolutions that are set are either unrealistic or far too difficult, so quickly fall by the wayside within a few weeks. People make claims like ‘I want to look good in a bikini’ or ‘I want to weigh X amount’, and then give up when they don’t get quick results (or the results are too vague or unachievable). If you genuinely want to make a difference to your health, you need to set smart goals. Here are some ideas.
Did you know that it’s possible to be an alcoholic without even realising? When we think of someone that’s dependent on alcohol, we have visions of drunks staggering around the park- but it’s not always the case. A couple of beers or a glass of wine after work can quickly lead to drinking every night. You might still be functioning to a high level, but if you’ve then become dependent on that drink to keep you going then you’re alcohol dependent. In some cases, it might be easy to simply quit and take steps yourself to nip the problem in the bud. If it’s a more serious or ongoing problem then it’s worth seeking help. Speak to your GP, or utilise a centre like Avalon Malibu. Alcohol can lead to liver issues, brain issues and is a massive risk factor to many kinds of cancer. Giving up could be one of the best things you could possibly do for your health.
Another dangerous addiction that’s so worth leaving in 2018 is smoking. The good news is that less people are smoking today than ever before, increased knowledge about the dangers of cigarettes have allowed people to make better choices. Not to mention that high prices can be a good motivator for kicking the habit. Second hand smoke could be seriously harming people and pets that you spend a lot of time with (did you know, dogs and cats can get lung cancer from being in homes with second hand smoke?) It also massively affects your own health. There are plenty of self help books, stop smoking products and advice from your GP that can all make the process that bit easier.
Eat your five a day
Instead of setting yourself a silly, restrictive diet and then failing in a week because you’re absolutely starving- set a more sensible goal. Aiming to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day is perfect as you know exactly what you’re doing. You don’t need to starve yourself or even limit yourself in other way (although of course, making sensible choices is important). What you’ll find is that when you make an effort to incorporate more fruit and veg, you naturally eat better. You pick up a piece of fruit to snack on instead of something unhealthy as you know you need to meet your quota. You put more vegetables and salad on your plate instead of other foods, which mean you eat less calories overall. It’s relatively easy, and something you’ll feel the effects of fairly quickly.
Get into a good sleep routine
All of us are busy- life is chaotic and it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done. However, in many case, simple prioritising can really help. You should never be sacrificing on sleep due to the health effects it has on the body. It can cause low mood and affect your mental health. It can lead to higher appetite (causing weight gain) due to hormones not balancing properly. In the long term, it can even lead to heart attack and stroke amongst other life threatening issues. Set a bedtime and stick with it. Avoid eating large meals before bed, using technology or exercising close to your sleep time as these can all affect your ability to drop off. Make it your mission to get enough sleep in 2019.
Don’t see improving your health as a quick fix. It’s making good decisions every day that will really make a difference.