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Make 2017 a Genuinely Happy New Year

I’d first like to begin by wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Then, I’d like to ask how many of us actually, in between saying it to everyone we meet, stop and think about HOW we can make sure we have a genuinely ‘Happy New Year’?

For a lot of people, being healthier, would certainly make them feel happier, but in truth, almost NOBODY arrives at the 31st of December HEALTHIER than they were on the 1st January.

They start the year well, with New Year’s resolutions, gym membership, maybe a personal trainer or even giving up chocolate or alcohol, but it doesn’t last.

Last year I explored a concept called “One Small Change”, whereby I encouraged people to adopt one new, simple, healthy habit on the 1st of each month all year, to hopefully see out the year with 12 shiny new healthy habits and be much healthier!

But did it work? NO! On the whole, by about March, after an incredibly positive start… almost everyone had lapsed right back to old ways.

Why?

No one wants to be unhappy, unhealthy, or to die young or get seriously ill, BUT, when we are making healthy changes to our lifestyle, it is HARD! This is because most people (not all) are not actually properly ill or in immediate risk of death, so it feels as though the changes are, well, just not that important.

It is also a sad fact that it is ALWAYS easier to do nothing. So after an initial big push for change, people soon revert back to their old ways, feeling unhappy and frustrated and helpless.

So, on a more positive note, how can we do better this year and finally end a year healthier than we started it?

My long client history clearly shows that the people most successful in achieving lasting health improvement are those who do not try to change too much at once. People are always desperate for immediate results, but stoically losing a solitary pound each month, or maybe two, over long periods is far, far better. The results do not lie.

It is about building sustainable lifestyle change into your life, in a way which does not hurt you at all.

Two amazing examples of this in practice (there are any more) are from my client group. They simply made, and stuck with, a SINGLE small change for the WHOLE of 2016.

One decided simply to have a glass of water whenever they felt hungry, and to make sure they drank at least 2 litres over the course of the whole day. They lost 11lbs in 2016, and had far more energy. They are now making another small lifestyle change for this year by walking for 30 minutes every day.

The other cut out bread, except for weekends. Not “just for January”, but for the whole year. They carried on drinking wine, having chocolate and meals out, but no bread. They lost 15lbs, and interestingly, by the end of the year did not fancy bread at all so completely stopped, their choice.

This year they are stopping midweek drinking of alcohol, and no other new changes. I am certain they will succeed in their aim and continue to have great improvements in health.

These changes sound too insignificant to matter, BUT THEY AREN’T!

Maybe, the motto for 2017 and beyond should be “one small change, for the whole year”

Action Plan

For 2017, choose just one lifestyle improvement, however small. Commit to yourself to do this for the entire year, and you will have something to be extremely proud about when you raise a glass in 12 months’ time and you will feel like you have had a genuinely Happy New Year, for once.

Until next time, stay healthy

Rob