It may be early days for the new year, but many of us have already trashed our New Year’s resolutions.
Surrounded by an abundance of bubbles and canapes, it’s easy to be optimistic on New Year’s Eve – but now that the silly season has come to a close, it’s time to get real.
It’s still January and sticking to your guns by forming simple habits now, will be the crucial to success. And remember, the patterns we repeat the most often become imprinted in our minds, so consistency is key!
Don’t skip breakfast
Consuming food shouldn’t be a hard habit to form, however for many of us, this meal is often neglected in favour of 20 minutes more sleep.
After a night’s rest, our bodies require the right kind of sustenance to provide energy to face the day, because without it, our concentration levels dip quickly. Even a small meal, high in protein, wholegrain carbs or fruit, will make all the difference to your day.
In a rush? Pull out a blender and make a smoothie. Try this Banana, Oat and Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie – it has all the ingredients to create some well-rounded brain food.
Tip: Add a shot of espresso to your (healthy) breakfast smoothie and skip the coffee run.
Record your progress
This is a habit that will help you develop other habits! Recording your progress when you have a goal will help keep you motivated and accountable.
We tend to focus too much on the ‘what’ rather than the ‘how’, so set unrealistic goals with no detail on how they will be achieved. Making a plan using the SMART method (Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Specific) is one way to ensure you stay on track.
Depending on what you prefer, use a journal or an app to keep track of how you’re going. Some great apps to check out are CheckMark Goals and HabitSeed. If you’re after something a little more detailed, Strides has all the bells and whistles.
Tip: A recent study has shown that you’re more likely to achieve your goals if you report your progress publicly. So why don’t you put your goals on social media? Nothing like the threat of public shame to get you off the couch.
When things get busy and there is too much work or study to do, friends and family are the first to get filed in the ‘later’ folder in our brain. However, staying social not only makes life more interesting, studies have found that it is good for our health.
Even the simple act of holding hands with someone you care about can lower pain perception and reduce stress.
Tip: Start a study group or book club with people you enjoy spending time with, whether online or face to face – any time with good company will keep you motivated to reach goals.