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Health & Wellbeing

How to make your health resolutions stick this autumn

Studies show that only 8% of people are successful in achieving their New Year’s resolutions. So if you’re struggling, you’re not the only one.

But staying focused doesn’t have to be a challenge. Whether you’re aiming to lose weight, quit smoking or change your eating habits, here are some simple and straightforward strategies to make your health resolutions stick.

Remember why you started

It can be easy to lose sight of why you made the change originally. But remembering your reason for change will help to keep you focused.

Was it a desire to run? Fit back into your favourite jeans? Quit smoking for good?

Refocus on your goals by listing the benefits you now enjoy from your healthier lifestyle. Write them down, stick them on your fridge - and refer to them every day.

Review your goals

Autumn is a great time to measure how far you’ve come since you set your goals.

Complete a fitness test. Check your weight. Assess if you’re sleeping better, feeling healthier.

If you want to check your fitness levels, try a timed one kilometre run. Or see how many push ups you can do in 60 seconds.

Tests like this are not only a good time to check in, but they’re also a great starting point if you feel like you need some extra motivation to get going.

Schedule in time to review your goals every 4-6 weeks for extra motivation, too.

Planning is key

Planning is vital for sticking to any health goal. When you’re left without a plan, you can be tempted to make a poor food choice or skip your fitness session.

Choose a day each week where you will plan for the next week. Plan your meals - as well as shopping trips - to avoid extra visits to the supermarket.

Also, plan your workouts as a non-negotiable appointment so you don’t skip them.

Slowly does it

While it’s important to plan your meals and workouts, it’s also vital to take things one day at a time.

Try not to think too far ahead if you still have a way to go. Recognise the little achievements you make each day - no matter how small they may seem.

Keep a notebook handy and write down your health achievements - this can be a great motivational tool. Review the progress you’ve made when you need a little inspiration.

Rest is important

Rest is important in order to reset your mind and refocus.

Rest also helps your body recover before the next session, minimising the risk of injury.

But don’t let a rest day steer you off course. If you’re someone who finds it harder to get into the next day’s work out after resting, rethink what you do on your rest day.

Instead of no exercise, opt for an easier session. Try a lazy stroll or a stretching session to keep in the right mindset.

Give yourself a break

If you have a bad day and things don’t go to plan, be kind to yourself.

Start again with the next meal. Or aim for a bigger training session the next morning. It’s fine to have a little slip up every now and again. Just make sure you stick to the overall plan.

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