Many of us struggle with maintaining our New Year's Resolutions beyond the enthusiastic first few days of a new year. Maybe we set too many or they were just too much of a challenge. However that may be due to the fact that there is an expectation of pain in setting challenges that appear too difficult to achieve. Words such as 'detox' or 'diet' suggest avoidance or punishment and these are not good feelings to have. My suggestion is to take a more positive approach to making change and focus on what to 'add in' rather than 'avoid'. Act as if you already 'have' what you are setting out to do, rather than 'wanting' it constantly. This helps the subconscious mind to change from a state of constantly wanting to working to help you to get it!
For example, if weight is something you will improve, think of some goals you could set to help you to get started. Here are my 6 top tips for making it all more achievable and believe it or not - fun!
1. Aim to fill half of your plate with vegetables, have up to 10 servings of rainbow coloured fruit and vegetables daily - arrange for an organic box delivery which will help you to sample seasonal vegetables and have them readily available. Include vegetables in your snacks, for example, peppers or carrot and hummus, or spinach to as omelette; choose baked sweet potato chips instead of regular white potatoes - sweet potatoes are delicious and full of immune boosting vitamin A. Add celery or courgettes to a fresh apple juice. You'll be surprised how tasty this all is!
2. Increase herbal teas and water. You'll have more energy and have less caffeine as a result. Going cold turkey on caffeine can be painful as you may get a headache, reduce slowly while you try out some delicious teas or a barley coffee. Have a fresh juice or water and lemon instead of coffee/tea and if this is really difficult save that one coffee to before 1pm and savour it!
3. Fat is good for you! Aim to include 2-3 servings of oily fish a week. It's full of brain boosting omega 3s and will keep you full for longer. Even a tin of salmon supplies enough omega 3 for a day's allowance. Have a handful of nuts daily: almonds, walnuts, cashews or throw pumpkin seeds into your cereal in the morning or have with a yoghurt and a piece of fruit. Fat keeps you full for longer and prevents cravings for sweets
4. Eat every 3 hours - when you are on a 'diet' there is a tendency to count calories and some people even skip breakfast thinking they are limiting calories that will result in quicker weight loss. Nothing could be further from the truth - you need to eat to achieve your ideal weight. So make sure you include 3 meals a day and 2 snacks to keep your blood sugar and energy levels even. What good news?! You can eat more (of the right foods of course!). The majority of people I work with tell me that they have increased their food intake!
5. PLAN - whether it's your meals which dictate your shopping list and then what arrives in your fridge or whether to attend gym or salsa class - write out your plan for the next week at the weekend and set times for shopping/cooking/exercise in your diary. Bring it to the top of your agenda as you would your social life or business meetings. Find the time, even half an hour. That way you will plan to achieve rather than allowing things to fall apart.
6. Make your goals SMART: be specific, make them measurable, achievable. realistic and set a time to achieve them. Adopt the mantra FOCUS!
You can use this method for any new goals in any area you choose - remember to start feeling like you already have achieved your goal! With a bit of practice, it works!
For more information about my new zest4life programmes starting in January click on theNutrition Services page above, then again on Weightloss Coaching, or send me an email to arrange your free 20 minute coaching session. Many thanks!