Making and sticking to your New Year's resolutions
As we welcome in 2015, many of us will be making the customary New Year’s resolutions in the hope of improving ourselves in the coming year. This time last year, a YouGov survey looked at what were the most popular resolutions in England, and the vast majority were health related as the poll showed: -
51% aimed to do more exercise or improve fitness
47% aimed to lose weight
41% wanted to improve their diet
14% resolved to give up smoking
12% aimed to cut down on alcohol
Clearly, people are recognising the importance of looking after their health, and are keen to take the right steps to a healthier lifestyle. But the tough part is sticking to these resolutions – how can we make these goals last to achieve long term change?
A Professor of Psychology called John Norcross, has spent many years studying how people make successful lasting change, such as our most popular New Year’s resolutions. Here are some of the strategies he suggests: -
Believe it can be done.
Be realistic – choose goals that are specific and measurable, e.g. instead of just saying I’m going to eat better, choose specific foods to cut out of your diet.
Preparation. Plan the details of the what and how – e.g. plan exactly which days of the week you are going to exercise & work it into your diary.
Change your environment – remove the temptations from the house, and stick up notes to remind and motivate you.
Get support – from friends & family; perhaps a group with the same goal e.g. a running group; from professionals – your doctor, a nutritionist etc.
Persevere, overcome obstacles and slips. The majority of successful resolvers said that their first slip actually strengthened their resolution.
At The Private GP Clinic, Sevenoaks, we are happy to provide lifestyle advice & support, and our health screening medicals are an excellent way to review your health. Enquiries welcome on 01732 835212.