The new year creates time for reflection of the past year and inspires new challenges. A New Year’s resolution is a promise a person makes in the beginning of the new year in an attempt to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve his/her life. Even though some of us don’t tend to stick to our promises, there is always a resolution floating around at the back of our mind.

Resolutions vary and some people have very specific resolutions such as being charitable, more assertive, more environmentally responsible or more health conscious. The health related resolutions usually revolve around one’s lifestyle. Most of the time, people set a time frame in which means they have a set time in which to measure their progress and reach target to work towards in order to achieve their desired goal. However, we need to be aware that New Year’s resolutions have to be realistic, and one cannot expect a big change within a short period of time.

Resolutions can be easy to break, but how much the resolution really works depends on willpower and how badly the person wants to achieve his/her goal. A study carried out in Australia found that the most common reason for participants failing to stick to their New Year’s Resolutions was setting themselves unrealistic goals (35%), while 33% did not keep track of their progress and a further 23% forgot about it. About one in ten respondents claimed that they made too many resolutions.

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. If a person has decided they need to lose weight, here are some tips which will decrease the chance of failure:

Celebrate Small Victories

Every achievement in terms of weight loss and every step forward in that direction should be celebrated to help motivate a person. Small victories help with the achievement of big goals over time. Rewarding yourself for your healthy efforts will reinforce your new habits and inspire you to continue your journey. There are lots of eff ective and motivating ways to reward oneself such as purchasing a new dress or treating yourself to a new hairdo.

Resolving and Failing

One needs to make a pact with themselves to make sure the goal can be accomplished incrementally with all its diffi culties. Do not give up if you haven’t kept up with your New Year’s resolution. It is never too late to start again, as long as you’re determined to try harder.

Get Support from Family and Friends

Seeking support from friends and family is one way to go. With their help it is easier to achieve goals and with professional help these can be reached even faster. It’s always easier to attain your weightloss goal if the whole family eats healthier food or goes for a walk together. As role models, parents need to make sure they’re demonstrating a healthy attitude. In this way, they are also reinforcing the family bonds, together with a healthy lifestyle.

Make a Commitment

Focus, energy and time are the essential ingredients. Push yourself so as not to make excuses about the difficulty of staying on track.

Take a Long Term Approach

Committing long term usually gives the best results. This takes time and effort but will help one maintain consistency. It is the small incremental steps which are realistic rather than sudden changes in one’s diet or appearance.

Enjoy Healthy Food

The choice is yours to make. Making conscious healthy choices for a balanced diet is important when it comes to maintaining a healthy well-being; both mentally and physically.

Avoid the Company of People who Push Food on You

You know yourself better than anybody else and the last thing you need is people who say it’s alright to indulge. Try to avoid going to parties too frequently. Encourage your family and friends to find new ways to be entertained and choose healthier options when dining out.

Identify Problems and Find Solutions

Efficient planning helps in knowing what situations may be problematic and working towards effective solutions. Try to identify any pitfalls you may have. If it is when you find yourself alone in the kitchen that you opt for the biscuits and the cheese, and you aren’t assertive enough to resist, the best thing you need to do is eliminate them altogether. Stock your kitchen with a variety of healthy food instead and you’ll feel satisfied enough anyway.

Setting Realistic Goals for a week, a month or a year encourages one to work towards their goal slowly and steadily, instead of taking quantum leaps into it and ending up disappointed.

So this year I hope that every person out there making a ‘healthy weight resolution’is doing well and can use these pointers for additional support. For more information and advice on weight loss and services off ered, call the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate on 23266000.


© 2018 – VIDA Magazine – Dr Charmaine Gauci