Happy New Year! I hope you are all feeling suitably stuffed after a super Christmas!
Regardless of whether you’re feeling all ‘New Year, New You’, I think most of us feel at least a little over indulged. A couple of weeks of paying less attention to getting the right food, or simply eating more than we’ve needed, leaves us feeling bloated, lethargic and generally yuck.
If we could bottle this feeling, it would make it easy to follow through with the ideas in our heads. But the reality is that the bloated ‘over-Christmassed’ feeling passes relatively quickly, and that’s when the hard work of trying to stay the course really begins.
With this all in mind, I thought it would be helpful to look through the most common reasons people don’t manage to make the changes they hope to. Hopefully this will allow you to make your plan slightly differently and make it easier to stick with for the long term.
From your current position of ‘I never want to see another glass of wine again’, it is easy to think you’ll be happy to never drink again. While this might be easy enough to do for a few weeks, life (and desire!) will get the better of you eventually.
Instead, capitalise on your desire to change now, but also think about the longer term. As an example of this, you could say no booze for two full weeks, then at most 2 drinks a week until the end of February. After that, reassess how that’s working for you and adjust as needed.
Too Much Too Soon
This is closely related to over committing, since we are prone to making changes which are simply overkill. Although it may sound counter-intuitive, smaller changes usually add up to bigger results, because you are more likely to stick to them for long enough for them to become your new normal.
For most people, simply focusing on improving the quality of each meal will take you most of the way to your target. There is no need to count calories, go zero carb, turn vegan or use meal replacements in order to see changes. Make life easy for yourself and you’re more likely to be able to stay the course!
Doing What You Think You Should Do
If you really feel like making a certain change, but you decide to go with something different because your mind told you it would be an even healthier thing to do, it is likely to backfire!
If you have a few ideas in mind of what you could change to get you closer to your goals, and you feel particularly drawn to one, go with it. Don’t push it out the way because you feel another item on your list would be better. If your heart isn’t it in, you’re not going to stay the course.