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Start thinking about realistic health goals

Setting Realistic Health Goals for the new year

It’s that time of year…. the Christmas chaos is over and there are a few days left until the new year begins in earnest. For many, this is a time of introspection and resolution-setting for the coming 12 months. Just as animals prepare for the change in season, we humans, using a Roman calendar, often use this time to reflect on what we have achieved (or no,t) in the last year and make plans for positive changes moving forward.

At the end of the festive season, when the effects of the period’s over-indulgence is beginning to be felt (think loosening belt buckle, dark circles under eyes, general sluggishness – you know what I’m talking about!), it’s easy to set a number of resolutions to get into shape for the new year, but its carrying them through that is the challenge. Having an occasion as a focal point (wedding, holiday etc) helps, but what happens after the event? Health and wellness should be a way of life, not a temporary boot camp to achieve a single goal. 

Personally, I’m not a big fan of ‘new year’s resolutions’. In principle they work, but in practice they rarely stick. Instead, I prefer my clients to set a small handful of long-term, achievable health goals.

Over the next week or so, I’d encourage you to make some time for yourself to really think about what you want to achieve for yourself in 2014 – here are some tips for setting goals that last:

  1. Frame the goal positively. Rather than having something you are moving away from, aim to move towards something that is compelling and that you get really excited about. Instead of ‘losing weight’, how about setting a goal of having lasting energy throughout the day. The changes you’ll make to achieve the latter, will almost certainly have an effect on the former!
  2. Distinguish what you want to do, rather than what you feel you should do. Linked to the point above, this tip helps you to visualise something that is meaningful for you. Rather than ‘I should eat fewer take-away meals’, you might want to consider setting a goal of eating more meals cooked from scratch.
  3. Be realistic with yourself. Consider whether you’ve tried to make similar goals in the past and given up. This could apply to your job, relationships or your own well-being. If you find yourself with writing down the same set of goals/resolutions each year, really consider whether you find yourself in a pattern of behaviour where you consistently self-sabotage your attempts at making positive life changes. If you think you do, try and identify what is holding you back from achieving the things that are important enough to commit to each January. Instead of a long list, pick the top 2-3 things that you can commit the necessary energy to achieving this year and make it happen.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you feel you’re stuck in a job, relationship or health rut (or negative cycle), then look for some support from trusted friends or experts.  You’d be surprised at how much life/career-coach can help you see the wood for the trees and help you make changes you’d always been afraid of (or didn’t even consider!). If you have long-term diet or health issues, consulting with a good nutritionist (pardon the self-promotion!), herbalist or other holistic healer can be just the thing you need to jump-start your journey to improved well-being.  Equally, setting a common goal with a friend, family member or work colleague can provide the motivation you both need to get to where you wan to be.

You are the only person who has the power to create a life that is energising, abundant and happy. Carve out the hour or two you’ll need to set your goals and set yourself on the best path for the next year.

If this is the year you want to rejuvenate your eating habits, join my 28-day Detox and Reset Programme. Contact me for more details.


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