At the blink of an eye, 2018 is upon us. Where did 2017 go? Despite the gloom of January, the new year provides individuals with fresh motivation and urgency to re-evaluate some of their life choices; often reflecting on some of the changes they hoped to make the previous year but failed to marginalise on. In fact, a poll of 2,000 Brits undertaken by private health company Bupa to see whether they were confident enough to see through their new year resolutions – only half believed they would.
Interested specifically in health, Nuyoo.co surveyed 1,428 British adults who made health-related resolutions at the start of 2017 to see how many had seen them through till the end of the year. For those that failed to do so, Nuyoo also provided an insight into the underlying reasons why individuals gave up on their resolutions.
The findings from the research revealed that the majority of Brits had “losing weight” as one of their focal resolutions at 80%. Despite this, out of the 80%, only 38% of Brits lost weight by the end of 2017 – less than half. The next most popular health-related resolution amongst Brits was exercising more at 74%. Out of 74%, only 32% managed to increase their physical activity throughout 2017.
The least prioritised health-related resolution was “giving up smoking” at 22%. Out of the 22%, 10% did give up smoking by the end of 2017. It was perhaps understandable that giving up smoking ranked bottom, as it would only be an ambition amongst those that smoked. Just slightly above smoking was dieting at 36%, and only 10% saw it through by the draw of 2017.
The research also looked at the primary reasons why Brits failed to achieve their new year resolutions. The majority attributed it to “lacking motivation” (30%). The next biggest reason was due to them experiencing “time constraints” (26%) fully see through and achieve their health-related new year resolutions.
Top Tips to Effectively Manage Health-Related New Year’s Resolutions
It’s simple to say you “want to lose weight” and “eat healthier” but these are just statements rather than specific aims. If you are seeking to lose weight, firstly consider your main purpose for doing so and then, have target weight you ideally want to reach by a certain date. The key thing is to have a realistic target and track your progress throughout your weight-loss journey.
If one-day you don’t follow your exercise routine or make it to the gym, it’s fine. There is no need to punish yourself over it and then indulge in unhealthy snacks such as crisps and biscuits. Turn the situation in your favour by going for a half-an-hour walk or jog instead. Both are viable alternatives.
Before embarking on a certain diet, research if that diet is really suitable for you. Assess the context of what is required for that particular diet, ask yourself – does it meet your dietary needs? is it affordable enough to sustain? will you like the products/items involved in making the meal plans? With regards to working out, think about what parts of your body you intend to improve and what exercises would help you achieve that.
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Share your ambitions to be healthier this year with friends, family and colleagues who you know will be supportive. For instance, at work tell a colleague you’re intending to eat better and be more active at lunch. So, when you pop out to get lunch, they encourage you to stick to the healthier alternatives rather than being enticed by carb-intensive fast-food and meal-deals. At home, your parents and siblings can provide you the needed encouragement to go to the gym when you don’t have the drive.
Quantify Leisure Time
After a long-day at work it can be very easy to go home and binge-watch a series over your favourite takeaway. Whilst it’s totally fine to do so occasionally, try limit such activities (TV, gaming etc) within a contained time frame, say 9pm – 10:30pm. Use some of the time before this period, to cook a healthy meal and do some physical activity, whether it be going to the gym or for a walk/jog/run.
It’s very important to measure your journey towards your fitness goals. In doing so, you consistently become aware of your progress. If you realise you are not on track, then it provides the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate and implement a better/updated eating and exercise regime. If you struggle to remember your progress when you are on the move, then use apps on your smartphone which will assist you with recording your food intake and exercise sessions.
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Now more than ever, people have become accustomed to having a busy lifestyle. Occupied by a ton of work and social commitments, people fall into the habit of sleeping for an insufficient number of hours and then relying on caffeine to get them through the day. With poor sleep being linked to diabetes, heart disease and depression – focusing on improving the quantity and quality of sleep can positively impact an individual’s physical as well as mental health.