ADVICE

5 healthy habits for a great year!

Woman looking into distance over a lake

Healthy Food Guide nutritionist Claire Turnbull shares her five best tips for forming healthy habits and reaching your wellness goals this year.

The most common New Year’s resolutions most of us make are to eat better, get ‘in shape’ or exercise more – but does it ever happen? I often see people start the year with good intentions, laser-like focus and determination to be healthier but, as the weeks roll by and the busyness of the year kicks in, motivation can dwindle and things just go back to the way they were.

Well, not this year folks! I think the secret to success, when it comes to being healthy, is starting small and being consistent. Don’t overwhelm yourself with pressure, unrealistic goals and feeling like you have to thrash yourself to get results.

Here are five suggestions, for you try each week this year, that will help start you on a journey to healthier happier living. Consistency is the key to making your goals happen.

1 Set yourself one, realistic goal each week

Rather than overwhelm yourself with massive goals for the whole year that can often be hard to achieve, why not try setting yourself one small, achievable goal at the start of each week.

It is good to start with the end in mind when you are setting your goal. How do you want to feel at the end of the week and what is the one thing that could help you feel like that?

Want to feel more energised? Maybe your goal for the week can be to be in bed by 9pm.

Want to feel fitter? Why not commit to a daily walk every morning?

Keen to feel more connected? Why not make it your goal to call two of your friends this week.

Small changes made consistently can add up to big results.

2 Find great ways to keep yourself on track with your healthy habits

Whether you are trying to eat better, sleep more, or be more active or mindful this year, relying on willpower to keep you on track is unlikely to work. Willpower is like a muscle that wears out as the week goes on, or as you get tired during the day.

There are heaps of apps these days that can help keep you on track. Check out some ideas here. We also have a food diary which can be super helpful!

If you are more of a pen and paper person, then check out this awesome planner. It’s ideal to help you set goals, create healthy habits and keep motivated and on track.

3 Plan your meals

Without a doubt, this is the easiest and most effective way to help make sure you are eating well.

A rough plan of what you will be eating for your evening meals, what lunches you are having and what healthy snacks you need to buy, can make all the difference when it comes to making health happen. This weekly meal planner will help plus, find others by searching the site.

It can be easy to get stuck in a rut of eating the same old things, but if you commit to trying just one new recipe a week, then it’s not too overwhelming and, within a few months, you’ll have a new meal in your daily repertoire.

It is a good idea to have a set night of the week to try the new recipe, so you create a routine. Say a Saturday night when you maybe have more time than mid-week. Need new inspiration for what to cook? Search for meal planners on the site.

4 Surround yourself with the right people, who make you feel good

Some people make you feel good and lift you up, others drag you down. Aim to consciously spend more time, each week, with people who support your goals, dreams and passions.

If you feel like you haven’t found your tribe yet, maybe this year is the perfect time to join a group or community of like-minded people who share a common interest – be it photography, pottery or tennis.

Feeling connected is vital for our mental wellbeing. For more ideas on keeping connected, check this out.

5 Be kind to yourself

“Be careful how you talk to yourself, you are listening”. There is only one you! You might not look quite how you want to, be where you want to be in your life or have what you want to have yet, but you are amazing just the way you are.

Make a commitment, this year, to check in with your ‘self-talk’. We say things to ourselves that we would never say to a friend or something we care about.

Here’s to a great year ahead!

First published: Dec 2020
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