The New Year is a chance for us to reinvent ourselves. A chance to set new year’s resolutions. Leave behind your old bad habits and embrace a healthier, better and newer version of yourself for the year ahead. Or at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.
The hard truth of the matter is that despite our best intentions, hardly any of us manage to actually stick to the new year’s resolutions that we set out to achieve. In fact, studies have shown that over 90% of us fail to make them last. And most of us break them within less than a month.
We want to help you to not just repeat the same old resolutions, which are doomed to fail – but to make 2023 about a new year’s revolution to achieve the (health) goals you have been working on all this time.
In this article, we will:
- Show you where you’re going wrong.
- Give you some tips on how to set up realistic, achievable and sustainable new year’s resolutions that can really make a difference to you for the year ahead.
- Show you how your blood glucose is a powerful metric for your overall health and progress.
- Give you some ways to start.
Why do most resolutions fail?
Before you’ve even started trying to make lasting changes, your new year’s resolutions may already be doomed to failure by the way you set them up. Many of us are too ambitious with our goals, and don’t do ourselves any favors in the things we expect our minds and our bodies to achieve.
Beyond setting realistic resolutions, it’s also really important to bear in mind that as human beings, it takes quite a long time to adjust to new behavioral patterns and form new habits. It could take anywhere from 3 to 4 months of regularly doing something new like going to a gym before your body starts to see it as something essential and that can’t be missed. If you break a new habit within just a few weeks, it’s highly unlikely you’ll just be able to pick up where you left off later on.
Bearing these things in mind and being kind to yourself are the first steps towards creating new year’s resolutions that stick and will really put a smile on your face when you look back at all you’ve achieved next December. It’s time to say HI to sustainable new year’s resolutions.
The January Gym Rush Gym memberships tend to sky-rocket in the first few weeks of January, as newly supercharged health and fitness enthusiasts hit the machines to start working towards their new year’s resolutions. But as you’ll know if you’ve ever been to a gym in February, by the end of the month the enthusiasm has dropped off.
If your new year’s resolution is to go to the gym every day, you’re setting yourself up to fail. You will have days where you feel sick, where you don’t have time, or where you feel so exhausted that you just don’t feel like grabbing your gym bag and heading out into the cold. In the long term, none of that should stop you from getting fitter and healthier. But if you’ve broken your golden rule of going every day, you may suddenly suffer a huge drop in motivation when you realise you’ve broken your new year’s resolution and it’s not even February.
What’s the secret to making new year’s resolutions stick?
When setting goals, it’s essential to be really precise and specific about what you want to achieve. Don’t just say “I want to lose weight”, or “I want to live a healthier lifestyle”. Actually work out exactly what you mean by that. How much weight do you want to lose? In what ways do you want to start living more healthily?
Having focus will help you to break down your resolutions into smaller, and more manageable steps such as gradually adjusting your diet, gradually increasing your exercise routine, and focusing on getting regular, consistent sleep to give your body it’s best chance of responding to and recovering from the new pressure you’re putting it under.
It’s also important to set milestones that you can use to measure your progress. For example, aim to lose half a kilo per week. If you miss that target, you can try to think about why that might be. Then make any further changes to keep you on track.
When making significant changes to your diet, exercise and routine, it’s absolutely essential that you maintain a healthy dialogue with your body. Keep checking how you’re feeling, not just how you’re looking. If you start to feel irritable, have problems sleeping, migraines or any other physical ailments, that could be your body trying to tell you that you’re pushing it too much.
Monitor the right indicators: The scales can only tell you so much about your progress. Weight loss or weight gain can be interpreted in many different ways, and may be misleading as a metric for your overall health. The most reliable way to check on how your body’s doing is by measuring your blood glucose using a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), and checking the data through Hello Inside’s app. With a few tips and tricks, you can learn to keep your blood glucose levels stable and positively impact your sleep, fitness and overall health. Find out more about how Hello Inside can help you to make lasting, healthy lifestyle changes here.
Making true changes to your physical appearance can take months, or even years. There is no safe and healthy way to fast-track your progress. Your body will reward you for your patience and consistency. That’s why it’s so important to create habits that you can stick to. Make commitments that are realistic within your existing lifestyle and circumstances.
What kind of new year’s resolutions are best for self-care?
Here are 6 key areas that you may want to focus on when thinking about the kinds of resolutions you want to set. All of these directly or indirectly influence your blood glucose levels, and therefore have a big impact on your short- and long-term health.
- Healthy eating – Your diet and nutrition directly affect your health, immune system and your blood glucose. Why not aim to eat more healthily by cutting down your sugar intake, your alcohol intake, or aiming to eat more vegetables and fibre?
- Exercise – Getting regular exercise is a great way to keep your heart and lungs healthy. It also keeps your blood glucose levels stable. Why not start out by aiming to do a certain number of steps a day, or even going for a short run or cycle once or twice a week? Once that feels like second nature, you can try to increase it!
- Sleep – There is no replacement for a good night’s sleep. Your body needs a consistent and generous sleeping pattern in order to recover from the stresses of the day and regulate your health and blood glucose levels. Why not aim to be in bed by a certain time every night and see how many other areas of your life improve?
- Relationships – Humans are social creatures, and the company you keep has huge implications for all sorts of things in your life. Having supportive friends and family around you can make a huge difference in achieving your goals. Why not aim to strengthen your existing relationships and bring more community into your life this coming year?
- Addictions – We all know how damaging certain habits and addictions can be. However, finding the strength to kick them once and for all can be hard. The new year can provide that opportunity. Do you smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, have too much caffeine or order too many fast food deliveries? Why not take advantage of the new year to give these harmful habits up?
- Stress – Feeling stress is not just psychological, it’s also physical. Stress releases cortisol which increases your insulin resistance. This means your blood glucose levels will spike, affecting your mood, sleep, concentration span, and body weight. Why not make an effort to unwind and manage your stress better this year?
4 ideas for making your resolutions a revolution
As we’ve seen, the key to making new year’s resolutions that last is planning them properly and thoroughly. Here are some simple things you can do to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success.
1. Write down your resolutions – Putting them in writing will make them feel more real. Make sure you keep reminding yourself of what you’ve set out to achieve.
2. Share your resolutions with a friend – Nominate someone to hold you to account. This will help you to stick to them, even when the temptation not to is high!
3. Set milestones and check progress – Having a way to measure your progress towards your goals will help keep you on track and make any adjustments you need to make sure you achieve them. The Hello Inside app is a great companion to help you visualise your progress.
4. Be realistic and kind to yourself – You know yourself better than anyone else. You know what sounds achievable, and what doesn’t. Remember you want to have a good year, not one full of regrets, guilt and self-doubt if you set yourself up for failure.
So start the new year by saying HI to sustainable resolutions and setting realistic goals. Kick-start your self-care journey this year by getting the Hello Inside App and learn more about your body this upcoming year. Take out the guesswork and truly understand what “health” means for you!
And don’t forget – be kind to yourself, and keep showing up. Patience and consistency are the keys to making long-term changes to your health.