MindFit

5 Popular Resolutions And Tips To Succeed

December 06, 2017

Stronger resolutions for a healthier you

The end of the year is a great time to reflect, think about what lies ahead, and consider how we can do things better. In this article, we will look at five popular New Year’s resolutions, and how you can stick to them throughout 2018.

Resolution 1: Lose Weight

There’s a reason why we keep making and breaking weight-loss resolutions. Psychologists call this tendency the ‘False Hope Syndrome’ because we assume that changing oneself will be easy. Here are some tips for setting realistic yet achievable weight loss goals.

Stick to small and specific goals: Instead of a vague task like “I will lose weight”, create small and specific weight loss goals. For example, “I will eat fruit for my evening snack” or “I will walk for 30 minutes every day”. Such goals are simple to follow and add up to a significant change in lifestyle when practised daily.

Make a note of it: Science shows that on an average, our mind has 30-40 thoughts per minute. Writing about your resolution will help you to remember it and keep you from tweaking it when things get tough.

Ditch your weighing scale:  Kilos should not be the only weight loss indicator because factors like water retention and hormones can cause frequent swings. A better method is to measure weight loss in inches - measuring it by the size of your clothing.

Resolution 2: Eat Healthy

It can be tough to stick to this decision, because thanks to evolution, human beings are genetically wired to crave fat and sugar. Resolve to eat healthy with the following steps.

Follow the 80/20 rule: Eliminating every indulgence leads to short-term weight loss but can make you feel deprived and more likely to binge. To manage cravings, eating experts recommend the 80/20 rule. That is, 80% of the calories you consume should be healthy, and the remaining 20% can come from your favourite treats.

Drink lots of water: When you feel hungry, first drink a glass of water. That's because feelings of hunger and thirst come from the same part of the brain. This can sometimes lead to mixed signals that trigger overeating. Drinking water before meals will not only keep you well-hydrated but also prevent you from overeating.

Address any underlying issues: For many people, eating has an emotional aspect that significantly affects their health. If this is a reality for you, consider talking to a professional to discover and address the underlying cause - whether that is stress, a disordered lifestyle or unresolved issues. By taking the first step to tackle these issues, you can make a sustainable change.

Resolution 3: Get Fit

Are your fitness goals still words on paper? Take charge and make a difference with these guidelines:

Something is better than nothing: Any effort is better than no effort at all, so ditch the ‘all or nothing’ mentality. If you don’t have an hour to spare for exercise, go for a 20-minute jog. If going to the gym is not an option, use household chores as an opportunity to burn some calories.

Make your resolution a habit: Studies show that to turn a new behaviour into a pattern, you must repeat it for at least 21 days. If you are new to fitness, choose a routine you can do every day like walking, jogging or cycling.

Turn workouts into playtime: Self-motivation is easier when you are having fun. Don’t treat exercise as a chore. Instead, follow a fitness routine that makes you happy, whether that's a yoga session, a belly-dance workout, or a Zumba class.

Resolution 4: Reduce Stress

Stress reduction ought to be an essential goal for 2018. According to a recent study, 60% of the people in the UAE described themselves as "stressed" or "extremely stressed". You deserve to relax, and it's easier than you think.

Be mindful: When you feel tense, take five minutes to focus on only one action - whether that's eating your food or observing your surroundings. It creates a mental break from your thoughts and helps you relax.

Laugh it off: Laughter releases endorphins that boost your mood and reduces stress-causing hormones like cortisol. Watch your favourite sitcom, or talk to a friend to see the brighter side of life.

Create a bedtime routine: Stress can affect our sleep, which leads to further stress. Break this vicious cycle with a healthy sleep routine - switch off the TV, laptop and smartphone, dim the lights, and give yourself time to relax.

Resolution 5: Do Better At Work

Workplace success is subjective. But if you are aspiring to give your career a boost or make positive changes at work, here is some guidance for you.

Start uni-tasking: Data shows that multitaskers perform worse than people who complete a single task at a time. Our brain is evolved to focus on only one thing at a time, so stay focused and finish one job before diving into the next.

Fight 'chair disease': Recent studies have shown that sitting for long periods can be as harmful as smoking, with increased risks of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Work some movement into your workday - do stretches, take the stairs and attend calls while walking - if you can.

Learn something new: Training for a new skill is not only good for your resume but keeps your brain sharp. Science shows that learning a new skill strengthens the networks in the brain - leading to improved memory, better decision-making and performance.

Stick to your resolve with these guidelines and be the change you want to see.

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