Out with the old and in with the new! It’s the last day of 2014 and many of us will be wondering whether to take up the challenge of new year’s resolutions or not. The problem with resolutions is that we often aim to change our lives so drastically that it can be very difficult to succeed with some resolutions and then we feel deflated or a failure. I know I’ve been eating more than normal over the Christmas period – and eating too many mince pies and chocolate biscuits let alone larger meals. I’m pretty sure I would find it difficult to stick to a ‘no chocolate’ new year’s resolution if I was to start that tomorrow!
Therefore, how can we improve our chances of success when it comes to our good intentions and what resolutions would improve our health and our enjoyment of life too?
Improve Your Success Rate
- Make your new year’s resolution something that can be realistically achieved. Aim to change your life in a moderate way rather than drastically.
- If a resolution is to achieve a goal, for example, to lose 14 lbs in weight, then set a realistic time frame with steps to reach it. If you break it down to losing one or two pounds a week, it sounds much more achieveable but you also need to build in your exercise plan and how you will reduce your calorie intake.
- Get a resolution buddy! We’re much more likely to stick at going to the gym or even for a daily walk if we have companionship, particularly if we feel we don’t want to let the other person down. Daily exercise is important, even just a twenty minute walk can have immense health benefits.
- If you wish to eat more fruit and vegetables, it is easier if you get into the habit of visiting a fruit and vegetable shop twice a week and picking out unusual and varied items so you can vary your diet.
- The recommended alcohol limit reduces as you get older so think about how you can reduce your alcohol intake – using smaller glasses at home could be one way.
- Socializing and solving puzzles makes our brains work and hence they continue to work better. Make this your year to join a bridge club, a bowls group or a book club. If you enjoy crosswords or suduko, get into the habit of doing a daily puzzle. Watch programmes like Countdown and challenge yourself to do the puzzles alongside the contestants. The important thing is to plan activities that you enjoy and then you will stick to them and enjoy the benefits.
- Older people tend to be more susceptible to falls (and to injuring themselves if they do fall) so plan for a healthy 2015 by evaluating your home for potential hazards. Do you need to remove or secure any rugs? Does your stairs need a handrail by the wall so you can hold on at either side when walking up or down the stairs? Do you need a night light in your bedroom so it is easier to get to the bathroom at night?