As the events of New Years Eve inevitably get placed in the memory bank of 2013, most of us are looking forward to the year to come with a positive attitude. The resolutions that we didn’t quite manage to fulfil at the beginning of last year are fresh on our minds again. More often than not, people fail to stick to the promises they make themselves at the start of a new year. If you don’t want to be part of this statistic in 2014 then it’s time to truly make a change!
Your diet plays a huge part in many other aspects of everyday life and changing your attitude to the foods you consume can help get other aspects of your life on track. Before you begin looking to make dietary changes, it’s a good idea to really analyse your goals. In doing this, it helps to be very precise about what you want to achieve. Let’s take a look at some typical New Year’s resolutions as an example.
1) I want to lose weight! This is a great one but make sure you pick a figure! How much weight do you want to lose? What number do you want the scales to display when you look down at them in two months? Six months? A year?
2) I want to drink less alcohol! This is also a great decision and your body will thank you for it. However, it’s better to have a measurable objective that you can strive towards. Will you only drink at weekends? Or special occasions? Or perhaps not at all! If you are only going to drink at special occasions then how many units will you attempt to stick to?
Once you have a concise list of your New Year’s resolutions, make a few copies and pin them up. Ensure they are in places where you will see a list at least once a day. By reminding yourself of your goals you will always keep them fresh in your mind and you will be more likely to apply them to everyday decisions. This will also help you to avoid the negative influences of other people who might be keen to lead you astray.
Next, it’s time to make some lifestyle changes. This is especially important if you have fitness ambitions in mind. Your energy levels are massively affected by the foods you eat and the amount of sleep you enjoy. Try to get at least seven hours of undisturbed sleep every night and ensure a wholegrain or protein rich breakfast is on the agenda in the morning. As lunch time hunger sets in, consider a plant based option that will also give you a healthy dose of essential fats. Perhaps an avocado and cashew nut salad prepared the night before. Eating well throughout the day will give you more opportunity to eat more carbohydrate dense foods in the evenings – guilt free! Steamed vegetables served with brown rice provides a satisfying and nutritious meal or perhaps opt for a wholegrain pasta dish.
Making some time before breakfast to meditate will relax you for the day ahead by providing you with the focus and perspective that you need to keep on track with your goals. Meditation can be practiced at any point throughout the day but I strongly recommend a brief session in the morning. Meditation is also useful for relaxing in the evenings and can help you better digest the events of your day, thereby putting you in a more peaceful state that will aid a good night’s sleep. Another good practice for the evenings is to write a page or so about what has happened in your day. This can be a comprehensive diary of your thoughts, feelings and actions or it can be just a few simple lines to remember your day. In doing so you can address any issues you have encountered during the day after you’ve had some time to reflect on them.
It’s important that you are honest with yourself during the whole process. Any setbacks that may occur are just that – setbacks, they are not a reason to give up entirely! It is perfectly okay to readjust the timeframe of your goals if you feel like you are getting behind. Following these simple steps will help you to avoid falling into the trap of reaching the beginning of 2015 and starting from scratch with the same resolutions!
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