Category Archives: Resolution

The January Blues: How to lift your mood.

The festive season is over, it’s back to work for some and it is still dark outside – no wonder January feels like the gloomiest month of the year. Add to that freezing weather, feelings of loneliness and failed resolutions, and it’s no surprise that lots of us are feeling out of sorts and low. The good news is that it takes less effort than you think to lift your mood. Here are the three reasons from http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthyliving/mood.htm why you might have those January blues and ways to beat them.

1) Weight gain over Christmas Studies have shown we can gain as much as five to seven pounds over the Christmas week alone. How to turn it around: Festive weight gain doesn’t have to be permanent, according to Karl Simpson, Fitness Manager at the Virgin Active Health Club in Broadgate.

‘Following a sensible healthy eating plan with exercise, most people can lose approximately 2lb per week – that’s nearly all your Christmas weight gain in three weeks. Cut back to three smaller meals a day and two snacks equalling around 1500 calories per day (2000 calories if you’re a man).’

If you’re desperate to lose the weight at a faster rate, try the following:

• cut out treats such as your morning coffee and muffin

• reduce sweet snacks to once a week

• limit alcohol because it restricts the number of calories that can be burned off.

2) New Year over-analysis Self-reflection at this time of year can make us all focus on what’s wrong with our life, leading us to set unrealistic goals to become our ‘ideal’ person. Small wonder, then, that a third of us lose our resolve to keep our resolutions within a week. How to turn it around: Although self-improvement is important, going overboard can backfire. To lift your morale and gain perspective, life coach Fiona Harrold suggests making a list of everything that is already great with your life, taking stock of all that you feel grateful for right now.

‘It’s healthy to feel motivated to make changes at the beginning of a New Year,’ says Fiona, ‘but avoid the mistake of only focusing on what’s missing in your life. Balance your drive for change with an appreciation of the here-and-now and your sense of disillusionment will go.

3) It’s cold and dark outside Seasonal affective disorder, or the winter blues, is thought to affect up to two million people in the UK as the lack of natural sunlight leads us to feel depressed and lethargic. How to turn it around: There is hope: the days are already getting longer, and January averages less rain and more hours of sunshine than December. Boost your mood by making a lunchtime walk a daily habit. Just 30 minutes of natural light, even weak winter sunlight, can be enough to make you feel happier and energised. Don’t let the wintry weather put you off your exercise routine either.

‘When it’s cold and dark outside, it is much more tempting to curl up on the sofa than to put on your tracksuit and brave the elements,’ says fitness coach Kristoph Thompson. ‘But exercise leaves you happier and more motivated. ‘Always have a backup plan so if your outside exercise is impossible due to weather conditions, you know what to do instead. Swimming makes a good plan B if it’s too rainy to run. ‘Where possible, aim to exercise during daylight hours, whether it’s before work, in your lunch break or at the weekend.’

10 tips to make your New Year’s resolution a success from NHS Choices

By on 01 05, 2015 in ActivitiesResolution

Most of us will make a New Year’s resolution – maybe to lose weight, quit smoking or drink less – but only one in 10 of us will achieve our goal.

Psychologists have found we’re more likely to succeed if we break our resolution into smaller goals that are specific, measurable and time-based.

Professor Richard Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, tracked 5,000 people as they attempted to achieve their New Year’s resolutions.

His team found that those who failed tended not to have a plan, which made their resolution soon feel like a mountain to climb.

Some focused too much on the downside of not achieveing their goal, adopted role models, fantasised about their goal or relied on will power alone.

“Many of these ideas are frequently recommended by self-help experts but our results suggest that they simply don’t work,” says Prof Wiseman.

“If you are trying to lose weight, it’s not enough to stick a picture of a model on your fridge or fantasise about being slimmer.”

He said the 10% of participants in the study who had achieved their target broke their goal into smaller goals and felt a sense of achievement when they achieved these.

“Many of the most successful techniques involve making a plan and helping yourself stick to it,” says Prof Wiseman.

Top 10 goal-setting tips

Prof Wiseman’s top 10 tips to achieving your New Year’s resolution:

1. Make only one resolution. Your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behaviour.

2. Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution and instead take some time out a few days before and reflect upon what you really want to achieve.

3. Avoid previous resolutions. Deciding to revisit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment.

4. Don’t run with the crowd and go with the usual resolutions. Instead think about what you really want out of life.

5. Break your goal into a series of steps, focusing on creating sub-goals that are concrete, measurable and time-based.

6. Tell your friends and family about your goals. You’re more likely to get support and want to avoid failure.

7. Regularly remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goals by creating a checklist of how life would be better once you obtain your aim.

8. Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a sub-goal, thus maintaining motivation and a sense of progress.

9. Make your plans and progress concrete by keeping a handwritten journal, completing a computer spreadsheet or covering a notice board with graphs or pictures.

10. Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time. Treat any failure as a temporary setback rather than a reason to give up altogether.

Getting started

Below are some of the most common New Year health resolutions, with links to help you get started and achieve your goal.

Lose Weight
Get practical tips to lose excess weight, including getting started, healthy food swaps, and see our 12-week weight loss plan.

Quit Smoking
We’ve got all you need to help you achieve your goal to stop smoking, including ordering a free Quit Kit, getting support and tracking your progress.

Get active
Boost your fitness with fun and practical ideas to help you get into shape, including Couch to 5K, Strength and Flex and our 12-week fitness plan.

Drink less alcohol
Calculate your units, get tips on cutting down, track your drinking and find out where to get help and support.

Eat more fruit and veg
Whether you’re cooking for a family or eating on the go, our tips and recipes can help you get your 5 A DAY.

See the full article here

10 tips to make your New Year’s resolution a success from NHS Choices

By Steve McNulty on 01 05, 2015 in ActivitiesResolution

Most of us will make a New Year’s resolution – maybe to lose weight, quit smoking or drink less – but only one in 10 of us will achieve our goal. Psychologists have found we’re more likely to succeed if we break our resolution into smaller goals that are specific, measurable and time-based. Professor Richard Wiseman, of the University [...]


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