With 2018 already one month down, there’s every chance that you’ve already given up on your resolutions. In fact, according to one survey, most people don’t even last the first two weeks of the new year before giving up, and 80% of resolutions eventually do fail outright, whether their aim was to quit smoking, sleep better, or improve health and fitness.
The main reason that most people tend not to stick to their resolutions is the sense of pressure—be it on yourself, or from others—to see them through; when you think about it, it’s no wonder people only pledge to make these sorts of changes once a year! But you also need to think about how to approach your resolutions, particularly if they concern your health, in a way that works for you.
So if your all-out detox hasn’t managed to stick, here are some ways you can prolong your health and fitness goals to fully transform how you view, prepare and consume your food.
Try eating nutritionally-complete food
The most recent YouGov poll concerning new year’s resolutions notes that the number one aim for those surveyed was to “eat better”, and the market is overrun with opportunistic fad diets, particularly during December and January.
According to US News, both the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet are the best suited for meeting your healthy eating targets. The former is relatively intuitive, cutting sugars, fats and salts and putting an emphasis on whole grains and fresh produce, while the latter encourages you to eat more carbohydrates and fish, but less meat.
However, new products have begun to hit the market which posit themselves as “nutritionally-complete” food. Sold in powder form, which can then be mixed with water or used as a baking ingredient in its own right, these products are designed to replace one or two meals a day, while providing all the nutritional benefits of a well-balanced diet. As many of these companies are startups, they go out of their way to encourage their consumers. The Instagram account of British company Huel, for example, is loaded with advice for anyone using its product as part of their health kick. As well as using their social channels effectively the brand also publish a number of health related guides on their website, including a look at how to “lose fat”.
Take a regular approach to hitting the gym
It may be a cliché, but the stats back it up—gym membership spikes in January, but actual attendance dwindles again by February. This is often down to the fact that people tend to burn themselves out early, trying to meet unrealistic fitness goals too quickly.
While there’s nothing wrong with signing up to a gym as part of your new year’s wellness resolution, experts suggest that there are better ways to do it than trying to go as often as possible. Instead, pick specific times of the week to go to the gym, and stick to them; known by psychologists as “implementation intentions”, the gradual inclusion of an activity to your weekly routine will become second nature in no time.
Remember that fake booze is getting better
According to another YouGov poll, 3.1 million Brits took part in Dry January this year, and research has shown that doing so actually leads to reduced levels of drinking throughout the rest of the year. This is arguably another case of implementation intentions in action, but unlike taking trips to the gym, staying alcohol-free is easier to keep up as January rolls into February. In fact, a 2016 poll showed that nearly 45% of those surveyed didn’t drink at all.
That said, being the only non-drinker in a crowd full of friends can be tricky, both psychologically and in terms of what you can actually drink that isn’t lime-and-soda or sugary soft drinks. Fortunately, in advance of Dry January, major alcohol and beer brands released their own lines of alcohol-free beverages. The popularity of low-alcohol beer rose by nearly 20% in 2017. The fact that companies are going out of their way to cater for this increasing market is not only good for health, but allows teetotalers to feel less self-conscious about their choices.
So if you’re contemplating giving up your health and fitness-based resolutions, or if you already have, don’t feel like you can’t go back or keep it up. Using these tricks and hacks can help you make 2018 your happiest, healthiest year yet.