It's that time of year again, where we all start to think about what change we want to make for the New Year. Some may find it tough to think of a New Year's resolution but for others it's the perfect time to action something that has been troubling us such as our weight. In fact, it was found that the top New Year's resolution in 2014 was to lose weight, so if this sounds like you, how do you go about making sure that you can achieve your goals and make a change for good?
Making a good New Year's resolution
1. Even once you have decided what your New Year's resolution is going to be, you still need to be realistic about the goals you are setting. Rather than deciding you're going to cut out sugar forever, set smaller targets that could eventually build you up towards that ultimate goal - you may end up realising that you never needed to be so extreme in the first place and you can still achieve the outcome you wanted with smaller more sustainable steps.
2. Plan ahead - make sure your New Year's resolution isn't just decided when the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve. Your resolution shouldn't just be based on your mindset at one particular moment; it needs to be something you are really motivated to do.
3. Outline how you intend to deal with low points when you're tempted to quit, will you use self talk? Will you have a friend or coach you will turn to for support?
4. Develop a pros and cons list over time adding your own points and asking others for their opinions. If you feel like giving up, refer back to the list and remind yourself of the reasons why you chose to start.
Keeping a New Year's Resolution
1. Don't keep your resolution a secret as talking about it to friends and family makes you accountable and will also allow others to support you.
2. Make sure that when you reach small milestones in your journey, you reward yourself. However this shouldn't be along the lines of "When I lose that first stone I'll treat myself to a takeaway" make the reward unrelated so it doesn't contradict your resolution such as a bunch of your favourite flowers or a new item of clothing you wouldn't have been able to buy or felt confident wearing before you lost weight.
3. Track your progress to keep you motivated and to see how far you've come. Keeping a journal or diary can be more effective than just tracking your weight as you can reflect on how you felt after you lost those first few pounds and feel encouraged to keep going. Create a visual pin board of pictures that represent your goals, it could be full of motivational quotes, healthy recipe ideas - whatever helps you to realise where you want to be.
4. Don't beat yourself up if you do have a moment of relapse into your old eating habits, the most important thing is that you don't give up and get back on track. If you run out of steam, give yourself a short break to pull yourself back together, have a read of your pros and cons list and get yourself back in the right mind frame to carry on. Experts say it takes around 21 days for a new behaviour to become a habit and about 6 months for it to become part of your personality, so don't expect the good intentions of your New Year's resolution to become automatic overnight, it's going to take time but it will be worth it.
Are you ready to make a change for the New Year?
Ideal Weight offer a range of flexible weight loss plans from cognitive behavioural coaching to a variety of healthy and effective nutrition packs and low GI/GL meal plans. To find the right plan for you, either try out our BMI calculator and have your plan selected for you, or compare each of our plans and find the one which best suits your lifestyle.