>Make being healthy your New Year’s resolution. Find ways to get and stay healthy this year and enjoy it at the same time.

The New Year has long been a time for reflection on the personal changes we want to make as we look forward to a year of healthy possibilities. This time of year brings the opportunity to make lifestyle changes, whether it’s eating better, exercising more, quitting smoking or reducing stress. Although we start off with good intentions and renewed motivation, this is often short-lived. Achieving long-term success requires planning, commitment and action.

One of the largest barriers to achieving your goals is, not knowing where to begin. Below, you’ll find ways to achieve success and keep a healthy you for 2014. Take time to make a healthy lifestyle your resolution.

  • Set realistic and achievable goals – make your goals challenging but not impossible. Measurable goals are also good to know if you are staying on track.
  • Turn your goals into a plan of action – write a list of the steps you need to take to reach your goal and give them a deadline for action. Some will have a short timeline and others will be longer.
  • Create your plan of action immediately – don’t delay, begin creating your plan straight away, if you’re like most people you will only have a limited window of availability at the beginning of January to harness your motivation.
  • Have a compelling reason to change – this will provide you with the motivation to get started and to keep going when things get tough! Keep these goals visible so you are constantly reminding yourself
    why you are doing, what you are doing.
  • Get organised – work out what you need to do to change – this could be writing a shopping list, stocking your cupboards with healthy foods, finding a personal trainer or talking to your doctor about quitting smoking.
  • Consider the entire year, not just New Year’s Day – Everybody wants a ‘quick fix’ but it’s important to acknowledge that nothing big gets accomplished in one day. Resolutions may be set in one day, but they are accomplished by following hundreds of tiny steps that happen throughout the year. New Year’s resolutions should be nothing more than a starting point. You must develop a ritual or habit for revisiting your plan.
  • Seek help or support – Don’t take the journey alone. Tell others about your goals and get their support. This will increase your self-belief and your motivation knowing there are others who are behind you. Can they be your exercise partner or just keep you accountable for your actions?
  • Reward yourself for your achievements – planning a reward for achieving your goals is a great way to keep you motivated.
  • Remain flexible – expect that your plan can and will change. Often life throws unexpected curve balls, and flexibility is frequently required to achieve your overall goal. Sometimes the goal itself will even change. Take the time to re-evaluate your plan and overall goal throughout the year.
  • Don’t punish yourself – Everybody slips up here and there, it’s a part of human nature. It is important that you acknowledge your slip ups but not to punish yourself for them. Instead, reframe any guilty and/or negative thought processes and take steps to get back on track. For example, if weight loss is a goal and one day you binge eat then make the following day a healthy day filled with healthy foods and lots of exercise.
  • Get enough sleep – remember that sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. This will ensure that you are more focused and alert, less fatigued and irritable. This is very important for the workplace.

As this can be a daunting process, book in to see our Dietitian Robbie Clark to help get the best start in 2014. If you Mention this Blog, you will receiveTWO nutrition consults for the price of one!

Please call our Dietitian on 9948 2826 or visit our clinic at 9/470 Sydney Rd in Balgowlah servicing the surrounding suburbs of Allambie, Balgowlah Heights, Seaforth, Fairlight and Manly on the Northern Beaches.