Hello friend,

Here we are, two weeks into 2019, and it would be remiss of me not to talk with you about resolutions and goals for the year.

Not that it’s mandatory to start in January. In fact some people would say it’s far too arbitrary and flat out refuse to make a resolution and to some extent, I’d agree. You can set yourself a goal, resolution or challenge at any time of the year.

So how are you fairing?

Disappointingly, some statistics indicate that most resolutions have gone out the window by now, and of those that have continued, around only 9% will actually last the year.

Why is that, I wonder? I’m guessing that those people didn’t find their why, and what they set out to do, well, just doesn’t make them happy.

So what to do about that? Well read on and I’ll share my tips for finding a way to be happy in how you approach your resolutions.

There’s a reason January is called diet resolution month – a common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and usually that means dieting, with or without exercise. I’ll admit, I could do with shifting a few pounds myself so, is a diet the way to go?

Dieting v Healthy Eating

When we talk about diets, we usually think about fad diets; a strict regime that limits carbohydrate intake, like the Keto or Atkins diet, limits fat intake, like the South Beach diet, or requires you to eat very low calories for so many days, like the 5:2 diet.

I always think of healthy eating on the other hand as being more focused on fostering good habits when choosing foods and knowing how they make you feel.

Whilst many people have success with the traditional ( or fad ) diets, I don’t think it’s for me. What I want from my food is for it to not only nourish me but also be enjoyable to consume. I want to live a happy life and not torment myself with externally imposed deprivation. I love cream cakes and pasta and burgers and crisps but is it possible to have it all?

I’m certainly going to try!

Abstain or Moderate?

In the interests of wearing something other than leggings, I am going to change some habits for better ones but do I cut the bad out altogether (abstain) or reduce (moderate)? Here three things I’ll be working on.

Sugar

Why? It’s fair to say that I’ve been consuming far too many sugary foodstuffs recently. Where I would once have declined the cakes brought in by colleagues at work, I started to take up the offer of “free” food. Similarly, fresh cream cakes at home have turned into a three day treat at weekends instead of just the one. Jelly sweets have been making a regular appearance of an evening, too, and sometimes not just at the weekend. Let’s not even talk about the extra nibbles bought for Christmas!

Crazily, I can’t even eat a lot of sweet stuff without feeling a little nauseous. Half a Mars bar, or one finger of a Twix, or four or five toffees, that’s my limit. So why I’ve taken to eating more is seemingly one for the therapists couch.

New year New me? No, I think the old me knew exactly what direction I needed to be going but I haven’t been listening. So I’m going to listen to what the old me says and cut down on or cut out the sugary treats.

Abstain or Moderate? A bit of both: no sugary foods in the week and reduced amounts at weekends. I think one cream cake is enough….

Fast Foods

Why? Whilst I might advise others to cut out sugar, too, I’d never tell anyone to cut out fat. It’s what helps to keep the elasticity in your skin and helps to protect joints and organs. It is essential for energy, cell growth and also assists in the absorption of some nutrients.

You’ve just got to pick the right fat source.

So whilst my guilty pleasure is a late night McDonald’s after a concert, perhaps I’ll be looking elsewhere for my late night treats.

Abstain or Moderate? Abstain. Mostly. The occasional treat works wonders for happiness!

Reduce Alcohol Intake

Why? Hangovers. Pure and simple. Drinks with friends is a great happiness boost but waking up feeling like they hit you around the head is not good. I want to get up and enjoy the day. Love your liver month has to be the best time to work on that.

Abstain or Moderate? Moderate. Christmas saw me drinking every day for a couple of weeks but that isn’t the norm. So I’ll be returning to just a couple of times a week and reducing what I’m drinking on those days.

Happy not Hangry

So those are the three things I’ll be working on to improve my overall health – just changing habits and thinking about how food makes me feel allows me to keep enjoying food. I’m not looking to track calories or measure my food out. I’m just going to listen to my body and pay attention to the type of food I’m eating. Getting enough fibre and a good amount of exercise will also feature but as they say, abs are made in the kitchen.

What about you? Do you like the regime of a diet as it helps you stay accountable? Are you an abstainer or a moderator? What habit changes will make you achieve your goals weight loss or otherwise?

Don’t forget, if you are looking to take on diet changes, consult your doctor as they may give you advice on what you might need to focus on to reduce cholesterol or prevent diabetes. And do research – something may have worked for lots of people but was it sustainable? Did it make them happy?

Until next time, chin chin.

Ear worm: There’s a Revolution, The Cult

Want to set goals but don’t know where to start? Try my free guide to goal setting.