How to keep your health on track

  • 05th Feb 20
How to keep your health on track

Let’s face it, come February the promises we made to get healthy in early January just seem to fall away during the dull days of winter. To be successful in making a healthy change, there really is no easy way or special magic key, the only thing you can rely on is holding yourself accountable for your actions.

Write it down

The act of writing down what you want to achieve is powerful in itself. It can also be a clear way of understanding where you are going wrong and where you are best achieving. Write down a performance-related question each morning about what you want to achieve and then answer with any positive actions to achieve that goal. For example, if you want to get fitter, did you walk instead of taking the car, did you do a short work out or some basic stretching?

Surround yourself with positivity

If you want to stop smoking, then hanging out with smokers initially is not going to help you. Surround yourself with positive role models and their behaviour will likely rub off on you too. Try and have an accountability partner to keep you motivated moving forward. It doesn’t have to be a professional, a friend who is supporting you to achieve your goals will help share your experience and you are more likely to stay on track.

Trigger happy

Identify what triggers you have that gives you an excuse to give up. This self-awareness will identify patterns in your behaviour and help you to break the cycle when you are triggered again. Similarly, think about the people, places and things in your environment and if they are helping you to reach your goals. Make a note of them and if they are supporting you. If they are not, consider how you can limit them or shift your interactions with them and how you can introduce more positivity to align with your goals.

 Preparation is key

It is not enough to just want to change. You have to help yourself by preparing to face each setback head-on. If you understand this, you can have strategies in place that are prepared in advance. For example, if you overeat because you are stressed, bored or feeling sad, think of some healthier ways to cope with these mood swings that don’t involve food. You can also control your environment by ensuring that if you are going to snack, it will just be on healthy, prepared foodstuff such as chunks of fruits or veggies.

Small change, big benefit

We often give ourselves unrealistic New Year’s goals that we are bound to fail and then just fall back into our old ways. Small changes are easier to stick to but can have huge benefits if incorporated into our everyday lives. Increase your daily fibre by just a few grams, cut out one refined carbohydrate such as white bread, add two more servings of vegetables at dinner, drink three more glasses of water a day and get up 30 minutes earlier each day to do a short walk/run or YouTube workout. As you achieve each new goal, you can start adding additional ones to continually challenge yourself.

Technology trackers

Too much web surfing, too much gaming and too long sitting at a computer are all to blame for poor health but there are lots of ways that technology can be used for our health benefits. Wearable activity trackers can help you pay attention to how much you move in a day and food trackers can help to avoid binging on high calorie, low nutrition foods. There are also lots of fitness apps around that can help you plan weekly shopping and menus as well as giving you daily exercise motivation. Whatever one you choose, make sure it is one that can fit easily into your lifestyle. Don’t sign up for one that encourages weekly hikes if you live in a city or one that wants you to radically change your diet immediately. Consider joining an online group so you can motivate each other and share success, this is especially useful if your time is limited or you can’t find people who are willing to support your changes.  

Tips for healthy living

  • Never go hungry or you will overeat or binge on unhealthy foods.
  • Try new foods and challenge yourself to create one new healthy recipe a month.
  • Get into the habit of bringing a healthy snack with you wherever you go.
  • Review a restaurant menu online to choose a healthy option so you are not tempted once you arrive.
  • If you want a treat, go for it and enjoy it but remember moderation is key.
  • Replace processed and junk food with a tasty smoothie. Adding a banana to pretty much anything will make it taste creamy and sweet.


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