Create a habit to turn your healthy new year’s resolution into one that will last | Macro

Create a habit to turn your healthy new year’s resolution into one that will last

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By Jennie Armstrong, Occupational Health Lead

As January draws to a close, many people are already losing track of the New Year’s resolutions that were made only a month before. 

  • Experts say it takes 21 days for a new activity to become a habit
  • It's estimated by February nearly half have already failed.

There are many reasons to fail;

  • It’s unrealistic
  • There has been no real plan to achieve them
  • Procrastinating, (the famous saying, “I’ll start on Monday”).

Jennie Armstrong, Macro’s Occupational Health Lead offers her top tips to creating new healthy habits:

Be a realistic, create a plan and set yourself goals (these should be consistently evolving as you reach them).  Saying that you want to be healthy or get fit doesn’t give you a measureable target.  As an example, if you want to improve your diet, start small – “every lunch time I’ll have lean protein and vegetables”. Decide that you’ll have your five portions of fruit and veg a day, and plan how you’ll ensure they get incorporated into your diet each day.  Some fad diets won’t create lifelong habits, you might find they are a way to “reset” after Christmas indulgence, but they’re not long term solutions. 

Learn your triggers most habits occur because of a “trigger”, and it’s important to understand these, as it can help you to cut out the bad habits but also help create healthier habits.  For example, a cigarette after your lunch, or a chocolate bar from the shop on the way home.  When you learn what these are then it will help to change them.  So after lunch, go for a walk to avoid a cigarette or take an apple in your bag so you eat that instead on the way home.  If you want to create a new habit, like to go for a run before work, then get your running kit out the night before, put it next to your bed and when you see it you’ll then be prompted to go for that run. 

Tell people about your plan, tell your friends, work colleagues, write in a note and stick on your fridge or next to your desk, somewhere you’ll see if every day – the support will help you along the way and even better is to find those who have a similar resolution who you can use for moral support.

Be consistent – don’t give up but if you do find yourself slipping back to old ways, then accept it and then recommit yourself.   If you’re following your plan 90% of the time, then don’t be too hard on yourself. 

Track your progress – there are so many apps available now to do this, but if its weight loss take photos, if its fitness keep a record and push your PBs.  Make sure you share these.

Reward yourself – this doesn’t mean you can have a chocolate bar after you’ve been for a run, but perhaps when you reach your first fitness goal, treat yourself to new trainers, or a massage. 

If you haven’t set a new year’s resolution why not use the change4life tools:  https://smarttools.change4life.co.uk/

Macro considers the health and wellbeing of our employees, stakeholders and supply chain a top priority.  We recognise the synergy between health and work and address this holistically by focusing on protecting people from workplace health risks, managing the health of workers and promoting healthy lifestyle choices.

At a group level we have access to two full time Occupational Health (OH) specialists that provide competent advice to the business.  We communicate Occupational Health support via a “Health & Wellbeing” page on our intranet to highlight a variety of OH benefits available.  

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