We all know the usual New Year’s resolution suspects; giving up smoking, losing weight, cutting down on drinking.
These changes are commendable, but giving up something you love is tough, especially if you go cold turkey. Research shows that people cave in around 10th January, but we have some awesome tips that can help you succeed and enjoy a happier, healthier 2018.
The best way to make a resolution you’ll to stick to is to create clear short-term goals rather than vague, long-term ones. Instead of saying “I am going to lose weight this year”, say “I am going to do an exercise class once a week”.
We’ve taken a look at four small commitments you can make this January that will make a big difference. They’re all easy to maintain, and will help you achieve your end goal with the pressure off!
1."I WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE" - REGISTER TO GIVE BLOOD
Wanting to make a difference to other people and trying to do a bit of good in the world is a noble resolution, but it can be difficult to know where to start.
Across the UK, over 6,000 blood donations are needed every day to treat a whole host of patients. An easy way to make a difference in the world is to sign up to the NHS blood donation register. Just one donation can help to save or improve the lives of up to three people.
Giving blood is an easy resolution to achieve and stick to through the year. It’s quick and easy to do, and is quite literally, a lifesaving act.
Donation is simple, efficient and easy, and you’ll be left with a sense of satisfaction, knowing you’ve done a very good deed. You can register here and there are blood donation centres all around the country.
2.“I WANT TO BE MORE ACTIVE” - TRY OUT A NEW CLASS
Let’s face it: promising to simply “be more active” is vague and hard to measure.
Instead of trying to make lots of changes straightaway, make one promise to yourself, such as “I will walk to work in the morning” or “I will take one exercise class per week”. Once you realise you can stick to this small goal, you can begin to slowly add more goals, so eventually you are living the active lifestyle you imagined when you first made the promise.
The right kind of class can offer you so much more than just fitness as well. Our FGT Explore classes offer you an efficient and progressive workout, incorporating the latest equipment and helping to improve your overall fitness. Our Spin classes are amazing for toning your lower body, and are low impact so can be easily scheduled into your regular workout routine.
3.“I WANT TO IMPROVE MY NUTRITION” - TRY OUT THESE HEALTHY FOOD SWAPS
Making a change to the kind of food you consume has a massive impact on you health, wellbeing and energy levels. As tempting as it is to “cleanse” or “detox” throughout January, these can actually lead to negative side effects, such as digestion problems and headaches.
If you want to make a commitment to changing your diet, begin by making one healthy food swap per day. Here are some of our suggestions…
Swap a sugary breakfast cereal for porridge. Porridge is full of fibre which makes you feel fuller for longer and will keep those sugar cravings at bay. A sprinkle of cinnamon will is a good alternative to sugar if you are still looking for a flavoursome, sweet start to the day.
If you usually make a sandwich for lunch, use wholemeal bread instead of white. If you pack a salad, swap out meats for beans and pulses. These provide a low fat source of protein and can save you around 2g of saturated fat per portion.
Swap fatty meats such as beef or pork for leaner alternatives. Using turkey mince instead of beef will help to cut down on your fat intake whilst still providing a healthy amount of protein.
Once you make these small changes you’ll begin to feel more full each day, helping you to dodge snacks and consume smaller portions. You’ll also be more aware of your food consumption, which is the best way to make healthy changes. From here, you can begin to make further changes such as cutting down on sugar or eliminating fizzy drinks.
For some inspiration, take a look at our recipes for blackberry frozen yoghurt or salmon, spinach and tomato lasagne.
4.“I WANT TO MAKE MORE TIME FOR MYSELF” - PUT ASIDE 15 MINUTES OF YOUR DAY, EVERY DAY
Thanks to busy work schedules, mobile phones and every other stress of modern life, it’s often hard to find any time to switch off. However, if you really want to be kind to yourself and enjoy a host of positive benefits, it’s important you take some time out for yourself.
Solitude can help to increase productivity, spark creativity and build mental strength. Many people feel like they are too busy to take some time for themselves, but studies have shown that even one 15-minute break each day -- free from electronic devices, distractions and noise can help improve your mental state and drive you to hit your other goals.
One of the best ways to make more time for yourself if through meditation. When incorporated into your daily routine, meditation’s positive impact can be felt in all areas of your life. It can help with stress, encourage a more healthy lifestyle and has even been shown to slow ageing.
If meditation isn’t for you, simply taking a 15 minute walk outside on your own has been proven to lift your mood, revitalise your metabolism and can add years onto your life.