January can be a test of endurance for even the strongest among us. Long dark days and cold dreary weather without the sparkle of Christmas lights can make even the most cheery of us feel a little glum. Add New Year resolutions and January detox to the mix, and, well, it’s tough.
We’re at the halfway mark, and if you’re anything like me your willpower will be starting to fade, so I’ve asked life-style coach and general all-round creature of loveliness Clare Percival of Now It’s All About Me for her top tips on how to carry on in 2017 as you had meant to start out.
The biggest threat to our willpower at this time of year, is the number of resolutions we set for ourselves. No doubt, they’re all well-intended, and initially viewed with great enthusiasm. But if you have too many, the chance of success is low. Follow these guidelines and embrace the best possible version of you.
Prioritise your resolutions: chose two or three things you’d like to change and then prioritise them throughout the year. You might decide to eat more healthily and start that in January by stocking up the fridge with fresh fruit and veg. Secondly, you might want to perk up your career with a new job, and focus on updated CVs and applying for jobs in spring. And thirdly, you might aim to save more money, so after you know where you are with your new job you might start a new savings plan in September so you’ll have extra spending money by next Christmas.
Be specific: Clearly define what it is you want to achieve. If you want to lose weight, decide how much you want to lose and give yourself a time frame. So it might be five kilograms by the end of January.
Measure your goals: You’ll need to know when you’ve reached your goal, and how you will celebrate the achievement. If you quit smoking, earmark some of the savings for expensive meals. If your waistline shrinks, splurge on new clothes.
Make your resolutions attainable: Set realistic goals. No, you can’t be an Olympic athlete by the end of the year, but you can join a running club or a gym and start exercising regularly.
Be realistic about what you can achieve: If healthy eating is your priority, ensure temptation is locked away. Don’t arrange a succession of meals or nights out in January.
Timeframe: Makes dates for these changes. And stick to them.
Another tip worth remembering: Habits like smoking and over eating take years to develop, therefore it will take a long time to retrain yourself. You’ll need to be mindful of the tests on your willpower when you are stressed, tired and hungry.