8 tips to lose weight after Christmas
Journal every day
Charles Duhigg wrote in his bestseller, The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and Business, “Keystone habits are small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.” If you want to improve your life for the better, you need to start to change your routine. Have you ever watched the movie Bridget Jones? At the start of the New Year, 32-year-old Bridget decides to change her bad behaviours keeping a diary in order to turn the page on a whole new life. Journaling daily has a lot of benefits. Like Bridget, recording your personal goals and achievements on a small book, it will help you feel more creative, productive and conscious about yourself and the efforts you are doing to improve your life.
Don't let minor setbacks crush your plans
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” Don’t panic if you look overweight! Also, the Evil Queen in Snow white would hesitate before looking at herself in the mirror after Christmas. A little extra weight is completely normal, but it doesn’t mean you are a bad person. Instead, be proud of yourself because you realised it is time to make a change and you are trying to achieve your goals. Of course, if one day you don't make it to the gym, don't give up, go home and eat yourself into a coma. Use this to try to fit some form of exercise in, like a small walk or some push-ups. Get back on track the next day.
Rather than a vague resolution to “lose weight” get specific about how much you want to lose, and set a clear initiative on how to lose it. Without a clear plan, the resolution you've said will just lay in waiting, with no real progress being made. Before starting a diet or going to the gym, be aware that when you're stressed, you may eat much more or much less than you usually do. If you eat more or different foods, or increase your use of alcohol or tobacco, you can experience heartburn or acid reflux.
Set two goals
According to the new Mary Poppins: ”Everything is possible. Even the impossible.” Rather than setting one goal that's easily manageable, set one more that is almost impossible. This way, by aiming to achieve the impossible, you will easily pass the manageable one, and already perform better than you expected. For example, losing a stone might seem manageable, but losing 5 may seem impossible. However, if you aim for 5 then you'll surpass 1 in no time by making you think of ways to achieve the impossible, possible.
Only make one resolution
A sure-fire way to fail is setting more than you are capable of. Don't try to follow lots of resolutions at once, either they will all have mediocre outcomes, or some will be forgotten about making you think you have failed.
Avoid making exceptions
“It's my birthday” and “I’ll go next week”, these may start as the one-off minor excuses but they can grow. Once you start making the odd exception, they become easier and easier to make and eventually tends to become an exception. However do try to forget when you have had a slip, don’t give up, dust yourself off and carry on!
The best way to make sure you stick to your goals is by partnering up with someone else. Writing down specific goals and sharing them with someone increases social accountability and allows your partner to think about specific ways to support you in achieving your goals. It doesn't have to be with someone who has the same resolution as you, just make sure they’re serious too. In addition to that, one recent researchpaper found a positive correlation between participation in digital communities and reaching fitness goals. Thanks to apps like Runtogether, Sportpartner or Charitymiles, it is much easier to find the perfect supporter who will keep an eye on you and share the pain.
Where there is a will, there is a way
When devising a resolution, plan how it can impact your life in future. Do you want to lose weight and gain it again just to lose it the following year? Or do you want to learn a new language only to never speak it again? A resolution is for life, not just for January.