The Resolution To End Resolutions

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I have a lot of patients preparing to start living a healthy lifestyle in the new year; the dreaded new year’s resolution. But a new year’s resolution is probably the worst way to start a healthy lifestyle; I’ll explain.

As you may have heard, new year’s resolutions are destined to fail. According to this site only 8% of people will keep their resolution! The most common reason why resolutions fail is that they are fundamentally flawed. From a specific date, people expect themself to do a complete 180-degree change in their lifestyle habits. Overnight they try to eat healthier, go to the gym, be more active and cut out sugar. In essence what they are trying to do looks like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When in fact what they should be doing is this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rather than deciding to climb Mount Everest on January 1st, why not take a few small steps that are more achievable and more importantly on your own schedule.

These can be simple changes, such as:

  • Deciding to wake up 30 mins early to perform a few yoga poses or light exercises twice a week
  • Cutting back the four sugars in your tea to three sugars.
  • Use a timer so that every hour at your desk you stand for 10 minutes
  • Drink more water. Buy yourself a nice water bottle to keep at your desk
  • Rather than white bread, opt for the whole wheat one instead
  • Instead of juice, try a smoothie, or even just water.
  • Wear more comfortable shoes at work, and try to avoid heels if possible. Your back will thank you!

Some healthy activities don’t need to be actual activities. Instead you can start the new year exercising your most important muscle of all, your brain! A few suggestions include:

  • Looking into what exactly a calorie is, and calculating your daily caloric intake
  • Read why too much sugar is bad for you, this is a great movie
  • Google the benefits of exercise and how it stimulates the brain

Once you feel ready to make a change then do so gradually. These changes should not be burdensome and should fit within your lifestyle.

Here are some other changes I made which I hope will inspire you to make healthy choices in the new year. Please note some of these changes took years to implement and were mostly done one at a time. There is still the occasional cheat day, but the trend now is mostly healthy!

  • Reduced added sugar, except for in my tea
  • Reduced dairy and wheat
  • If I do eat wheat, I try to eat whole eat or even quinoa
  • Running 4-5 kms every morning (currently I’m about 34 consecutive days in)
  • Replaced the sitting desk with a standing desk at work
  • Joined an indoor soccer league (not competitive at all!)
  • I make sure to have breakfast every morning
  • I try to get 8 hours of sleep a night
  • Keeping hydrated. I have a water bottle at my desk, another in my car and another by my bed
  • Reduced TV watching and substituted that time for reading. I still watch my Netflix shows!
  • I try to make it to the gym 3 to 4 times a week.
  • Trying to learn something new, currently I am developing better swimming skills.
  • Substituted music on my drive for podcasts and audiobooks.
  • I’m a big fan of fruit smoothies, I try to make them every morning if I can

If you have reached until the end of this article then I hope you have found it to be helpful and motivational. Do check out our other related health information and topics in our blog. I hope this article inspires you to live a healthy lifestyle.

Happy New Year To You And Your Family!

Wishing You The Best Of Health In 2018!

Dr Malik