As Christmas is behind us now, yet the celebrations can still be felt from those few relaxing festive days of eating and drinking, many of us start thinking about the imminent New Year and the resolutions that “need” to be made in order to start a new life…

When it comes to resolutions, highlighting the word ‘need’ is hugely important as this defines the whole concept. Nobody (except maybe you) expects you to make one so don’t be too harsh on yourself. If you want to start focusing on something new when January comes around, go for it. But be patient and realistic!

Think about what you want to achieve, i.e. weight loss or a healthier diet. Make a realistic plan, give yourself enough time and break your goal into smaller goals. This will help you feel like you’re going the right way and keep you motivated. Don’t be unrealistic and think that you can achieve changing your habits in a month, creating change takes time.

When you’re making your plan, visualise your ultimate goal (example: weight loss of X kilos) – then break it into time based smaller goals such as:

Short-term goal – Have more energy, focus on amount+quality of sleep, chances to exercise and start considering what you are eating = this helps you exercise and focus more easily on your target goal

Medium-term goal – A suitable balance of energy intake and expenditure = how much should you eat to lose the weight but still get enough energy to keep you going and exercising

Long-term goal – Lose X kilos of weight and keep it off =continue maintaining achieved lifestyle changes

By dividing your ultimate goal into smaller goals and breaking them into the steps that you think you need to take to achieve them, you will have the best chances of reaching them… at least some of them! Allow yourself some slack if you revert to old habits now and then; it’s only part of the process!

Remember, if you’ve achieved only one of them, you have still made an improvement and shouldn’t think that you have failed – but maybe just you need to revise your goals and see if they could be even more realistic to suit your lifestyle. Make the year 2016 your best year ever by being kind to yourself and others.

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