Image: a small investment in something like a Yoga mat can pay big health rewards
It’s easy to make goals, however, following through can be a real challenge. If that sounds like you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. A 2007 survey showed that, while most people make New Year's resolutions, a whopping 88 percent of people failed to achieve them.1
So to celebrate spring (a time when many of us make plans to get fit, lose weight or eat better), here’s some simple, realistic ways to achieve those goals.
1. Start small
Want to lose 10kg? Or run a half marathon? Big goals are great but they often feel unattainable, so most of us procrastinating humans tend to put them in the ‘too hard’ basket. Break it down into smaller goals that you can tick off more easily, like losing 500 grams a week, or running for 5 minutes longer every day. Once you've made a start, you'll also find it easier to keep going.
2. Make it matter
If you’re not invested in your health goals, you’re very unlikely to achieve them. For example, if your doctor has suggested you lose weight or eat more healthily, you’re less likely to stick to it as it wasn’t your idea. So get creative: find a sport or hobby that you enjoy – or eat healthy food that you actually like - rather than doing or eating something you resent. You’ll have a much better chance of succeeding.
Image: if you struggle with repetitive exercise like running, try surfing, hiking, or a team sport like netball, touch rugby or football
3. Share your goals
Writing down your goal or sharing it with someone else instantly makes you more likely to achieve it. If you’re really brave, share it on social media – then you’ll really have to achieve it as everyone will want to know how you’re doing.
4. Keep a record
Write down your progress in a journal, and reward yourself when you can. Or use one of the many fitness and health apps available – there’s nothing like having a record of your success to fire you up to keep going.
5. Remind yourself
Set reminders on your phone or computer to do a simple yet realistic exercise routine every day. For example, 20 push-ups and sit-ups when you wake up – or to break up your working day. The great thing about simple exercises like these is that they actually work, and they don't require expensive gym equipment or fees. And don’t procrastinate – do it that minute or it may not happen!
Image: a balanced diet not only makes you feel better, you'll sleep better and have more energy for exercise
6. Eat 20% better
Is your goal to eat more heathily? Most takeaway food is full of fats, so if you’re a fast food junkie, try to shift your diet to at least 80% home cooked. That includes lunch too – packing your own lunch makes it easier to control your portions and the quality of the food you eat.
7. Eat 10+ a day
A simple way to get healthier and lose weight is to double your fruit and veggie intake to 10+ a day (instead of the recommended 5+), especially more vegetables, which are high in nutrients and fibre and low in calories. Growing your own herbs and vegetables is also a great way to increase your intake. By eating more of the good stuff, you’ll have less room for the bad stuff.
Image: reward yourself as you progress through your health and well-being goals
8. Get the right gear
If you’re exercising or taking up a new sport, having the right gear for the job can help you feel more comfortable AND more motivated. So for example, if your goal is to lose weight or tone up, reward a big milestone with some cool new workout gear. It’s self-fulfilling – you lose weight, you look good, you buy new gear, you look good, you lose more weight ... and so on.
9. Create a habit
Another trick is to always work on your goal at a particular time or in a particular place. For example, every time you walk into the garage you have to do 20 reps with your weights. Or every time you stop working for a break at work, you have to do 10 stretches .... before long, you’ll have created a healthy habit that’s doing you wonders.
Source: 1. http://www.diabetesforecast.org
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