The new year is a great time to evaluate the past 12 months, set new goals and make healthy changes, I've certainly set myself some big and exciting tasks for 2016! Unfortunately it's all too easy for life to intervene after only a few weeks, and put your dreams on the back seat once the reality of work sets in. It's become almost a bit of cliché to make new year's resolutions, with people making them already with the mind-set of giving up when the going gets tough, but that's not going to be you. Not this year. Whether you're trying to get into healthy habits or reach new life and career goals, here are my top tips for achieving everything you want and really sticking to all those resolutions.
1. Choose your goals wisely. Think of things that really get you excited, and figure out a detailed plan of how to achieve each one so that they are achievable and realistic. That's not to say you shouldn't set yourself big challenges, whatever you want to do, go for it! With a clear plan of action, anything is possible.
2. Make one small change at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed
3. When it comes to exercise, find something you enjoy! If it feels like a chore you won't want to do it, and with such a wide variety of sports, gyms and classes out there, you're sure to find something.
4. Remember it's a lifestyle change not a quick fix. Don't beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon, just hop straight back on, and for goodness sake if you don't start on January 1st, it doesn't mean it's too late!
5. Don't forget to treat yourself. Maintaining a social life and enjoyment is a key part of staying motivated, a healthy life shouldn't leave you feeling constantly deprived.
6. Record your progress and praise yourself. It won't come overnight, but start taking progress pictures, and praise yourself for doing something well each day - whether you swapped a sugary snack for something healthy or walked to work, everything counts!
7. Drag along a friend! Studies have shown that having support from a friend can increase the amount you exercise by up to 78%. Being accountable to a buddy will give you that extra bit of motivation to get outside when it's a bit rainy, or give you the confidence to get down to the gym that's always seemed a bit intimidating. For all you London-based people, I'm a huge fan of 'Fitssi'. It's an app which allows you to connect with other fitness keen beans near you, share your workouts, join group classes and even arrange training sessions with a buddy, a bit like Instagram but just for fitness. Whether you're into the gym, running or yoga, you'll be able to find a fit friend to keep you on track! Available to download via the apple app store for free now.
8. Get creative in the kitchen. Try experimenting with new and exciting healthy recipes to keep you fuelled with delicious AND nutritious food - believe me, you're not destined for a life of dry chicken and broccoli. My favourite cookbooks and websites are www.madeleineshaw.com, www.bbcgoodfood.com, Jamie Oliver's 'Super Food' cookbook, even Instagram and twitter can be a great source of inspiration!