Set yourself up for success with smaller health goals this year

31 Dec, 2022 - 00:12 0 Views
Set yourself up for success with smaller health goals this year

The Chronicle

Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporter

THE holiday season is slowly coming to a wrap. There’s been so much merry-making — good and bad choices were made, including some not so wise decisions about health and wellness. 

After a holiday season filled with delicious foods, many people make a resolution to eat healthy once the New Year begins.

They have good intentions, but the majority don’t stick with it and give up on their quest rather early in the year.

As the new year beckons, many people are using this time to think of how to do things better in the coming year, and what bad habits to leave behind. 

The idea of a New Year’s resolution is a longstanding tradition in society that many Zimbabweans participate in. The harsh reality is many of these resolutions fail before the calendar turns to February.

The New Year signifies a clean slate for everyone. To coincide with this fresh start, many people make a New Year’s resolution to set goals and aspirations for the upcoming year. A resolution is a conscious decision to make changes in your life, whether that be physical, emotional or behavioural.

It is unfortunate that as we look back on what we have been up to in 2022, and probably the years before as well, we are tempted into looking for some quick fixes into problems that we have created over a long period of time.

Probably many people had their gym subscription lapse without them setting foot ever since January 2022, after they had made decisions that they were going to lose their weight. 

A popular trainer at the Body Works Gym at the Parkade Centre said the institution records high numbers of patrons in the first few weeks of the New Year.  However, the excitement and passion die down due to fatigue especially if someone was overdoing it in their first few weeks.

The trainer suggests that it is better for people to introduce new routines to their lifestyles, which are going to be sustainable over time, and not a crash diet and exercise programme which is meant to deliver miracle results in 2 weeks. It often ends in tears. 

According to data from the Discover Happy Habits website, an average 9 to 12 percent of those who make New Year’s resolutions stick with them. A popular social network for athletes states many people fail their resolutions by January 12.

Anytime anyone is trying to eat healthier a good suggestion is always start slow with manageable goals. Sometimes we just set too lofty goals. Any small change you can make, can make a big difference in the long run. Set yourself up for success with smaller goals.

Instead of setting up brand-new habits to develop or goals to achieve in the New Year, try building on what you’re already proud of from the past year.

If you have had a bad day or a bad week in the quest for healthier eating, you shouldn’t give up but must strive to spring back to action.

Consider the reasons you set the goal in the first place, how you felt when you were on track and focus on how you can continue progressing.

If you are planning on going on a weight loss regime, try to think about eating healthier as compared to eating less and counting calories. Focus on a lifestyle overhaul, not just a quick fix because there is no such.

When people think of dieting, they think of calorie restriction and food deprivation, which often lead to unrealistic expectations.

Habits don’t start or change in a matter of hours; they take time. This explains why crash dieting — drastically reducing caloric intake in a short amount of time — doesn’t work.

It takes repeated efforts to condition the brain to carry out healthy habits. Many people slip up with their resolutions by making too grandiose of goals.

New Year’s resolutions offer a chance for you to look back on the previous year and decide what you want to improve on moving forward. In general, New Year’s resolutions centre on self-improvement.

The way the brain operates also plays a role in people struggling with New Year’s resolutions. Usually, resolutions focus on improving or changing old habits that are difficult to break.

Always remember that change is hard and resolutions aren’t immune to setbacks. For people on a weight loss journey, you may lose a few kilos in the first month only to plateau or gain the weight back by March. While it can be discouraging, allow yourself to have grace. Revisit any changes you made to help pinpoint your hurdles. 

Change is difficult. It’s important not to be too hard on yourself. Don’t engage in negative self-talk. After all, you’re putting forth the effort to make changes, which is already worth something.

Make your resolutions reasonable and sustainable. The key is to start small and be consistent than to bite more than you can chew. Your mind and body will thank you for it.

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