Start Make a Fresh With Yoga

Haven’t stuck to the resolutions you made at the beginning of the year? Don’t worry – spring’s a far better time to put new plans in place, says Charlotte Haigh-MacNeilHaven’t stuck to the resolutions you made at the beginning of the year? Don’t worry – spring’s a far better time to put new plans in place, says

Charlotte Haigh-MacNeil

Remember those healthy new-you plans you made in January? Have you kept to them? If the answer’s ‘no’, you’re not alone. We’ve all read the statistics showing that the majority of New Year’s resolutions will fail within weeks. It’s not surprising – January’s cold, dark days leave us feeling tired, drained, low and in need of comfort food, so it’s just about the toughest time to go on a diet/start running/save money. But spring is here – and the longer, lighter days have a positive effect on our mood and energy.

That makes it a much better time to set resolutions, so go back over what you hoped to achieve this year. It’s never too late to start again – and here are some tips to help you succeed this time around.Remember those healthy new-you plans you made in January? Have you kept to them? If the answer’s ‘no’, you’re not alone. We’ve all read the statistics showing that the majority of New Year’s resolutions will fail within weeks. It’s not surprising – January’s cold, dark days leave us feeling tired, drained, low and in need of comfort food, so it’s just about the toughest time to go on a diet/start running/save money. But spring is here – and the longer, lighter days have a positive effect on our mood and energy. That makes it a much better time to set resolutions, so go back over what you hoped to achieve this year. It’s never too late to start again – and here are some tips to help you succeed this time around.

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GO OUTSIDE

When a sunny spring day comes, harness that positive energy by spending time outdoors. Research from the University of Michigan, US, found that warmer, sunnier weather makes you more open to ideas as well as boosting your mood – but you need to be outside for at least 30 minutes to benefit. A regular pep-up is likely to help you feel more optimistic and committed to your resolutions.When a sunny spring day comes, harness that positive energy by spending time outdoors. Research from the University of Michigan, US, found that warmer, sunnier weather makes you more open to ideas as well as boosting your mood – but you need to be outside for at least 30 minutes to benefit. A regular pep-up is likely to help you feel more optimistic and committed to your resolutions.

SET THE RIGHT GOALS

Don’t rely on willpower, visualising your success or simply suppressing cravings – studies reveal all these techniques are recipesDon’t rely on willpower, visualising your success or simply suppressing cravings – studies reveal all these techniques are recipes for failure. Instead, break your goal down into small, specific steps. So, for example, rather than thinking, ‘I want a new job this year’, break your aim down into more manageable parts to get you there, such as, ‘I will enrol on a weekend college course to learn those skills I need’ or ‘I’ll update my CV by next month’.for failure. Instead, break your goal down into small, specific steps. So, for example, rather than thinking, ‘I want a new job this year’, break your aim down into more manageable parts to get you there, such as, ‘I will enrol on a weekend college course to learn those skills I need’ or ‘I’ll update my CV by next month’.

MONITOR YOUR PROGRESS

It’s motivating to see how far you’ve come, so keep a daily journal in which you record three positive things you did that day and how they made you feel. ‘Looking back at it will provide extra motivation and give you a boost when you’re flagging,’ says Professor Karen J Pine, who specialises in the psychology of behavioural change.It’s motivating to see how far you’ve come, so keep a daily journal in which you record three positive things you did that day and how they made you feel. ‘Looking back at it will provide extra motivation and give you a boost when you’re flagging,’ says Professor Karen J Pine, who specialises in the psychology of behavioural change.

TREAT YOURSELF

Once you’ve achieved a goal, give yourself a small reward, such as a trip to the cinema or a meal at your favourite restaurant. ‘LookingOnce you’ve achieved a goal, give yourself a small reward, such as a trip to the cinema or a meal at your favourite restaurant. ‘Looking forward to a treat helps you on your way, but be sensible,’ says Pine. ‘List things you enjoy as treats and link them to your healthier behaviours. So if you love a particular magazine, promise yourself a subscription when you’ve reached a significant goal. Even simple things, like putting off the next cup of tea until after you’ve exercised can work. Don’t forget that helping others is also rewarding, so why not volunteer to be a hospital visitor or help out a charity, so you can pass on some of the new behaviour you’ve adopted?’forward to a treat helps you on your way, but be sensible,’ says Pine. ‘List things you enjoy as treats and link them to your healthier behaviours. So if you love a particular magazine, promise yourself a subscription when you’ve reached a significant goal. Even simple things, like putting off the next cup of tea until after you’ve exercised can work. Don’t forget that helping others is also rewarding, so why not volunteer to be a hospital visitor or help out a charity, so you can pass on some of the new behaviour you’ve adopted?’

ENLIST YOUR FRIENDS

Get your friends and family on your side. They don’t have to join in your exercise or healthy eating regime – but just letting them know what you’re doing can help you stay on track. ‘They can be supportive if you’re struggling, and encouraging when you’re doing well – and knowing that others know what you’re trying to do can be motivating,’ says Pine.Get your friends and family on your side. They don’t have to join in your exercise or healthy eating regime – but just letting them know what you’re doing can help you stay on track. ‘They can be supportive if you’re struggling, and encouraging when you’re doing well – and knowing that others know what you’re trying to do can be motivating,’ says Pine.

KEEP BEGINNING AGAIN

Slipped up or lost motivation? You can begin again at any time – even on the same day. So if you had a fat-laden, diet-busting breakfast, you don’t have to abandon your healthy eating plan for the day – that way of thinking stops many of us giving ourselves an overhaul. Have a nutritious lunch and evening meal. The same goes for any setback – simply start again.Slipped up or lost motivation? You can begin again at any time – even on the same day. So if you had a fat-laden, diet-busting breakfast, you don’t have to abandon your healthy eating plan for the day – that way of thinking stops many of us giving ourselves an overhaul. Have a nutritious lunch and evening meal. The same goes for any setback – simply start again.

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