NEW YEAR, NEW YOU

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The New Year is the best time to pick up an activity that you have been wanting to try for a long time. Why not try Chinese martial arts? Xinhua

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The New Year is the best time to pick up an activity that you have been wanting to try for a long time. Why not try Chinese martial arts? Photo: Xinhua

Out with the old, in with the new. It is that time of the year again where you tell yourself that the year ahead will be different – that this time you are determined to convert into a full-blown vegan or go down a few sizes. You tell yourself, you will have 12 months to make it happen, so it will happen.This is when you would pick up a pen to create a list – the list of your New Year’s resolutions. Before you go ahead and do that, spend five minutes on this article for foolproof tips to formulate resolutions that you will actually see through in 2019.

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Why New Year’s resolutions typically fail

1. Unrealistic expectations

Setting a health-related goal is always a good idea because it drives you towards being the better, if not the best, version of yourself but the problem arises when you set ridiculous expectations that not even professional athletes could achieve. Let’s face it, changes are hard especially when it comes to hard-to-kick habits. Take a deep breath, think of what you wish to attain and really weigh its possibility. Ask yourself: Is it achievable? Can your body take it? Will it have negative effects on your overall wellness in the long run?

2. Too rushed

Remember, Angkor Wat was not built in a day and so does your perseverance to stick through new resolutions. Make baby-steps instead of a leap. Going cold turkey does not work for everything in life as you’re bound to face a relapse and not bounce back from it. For instance, instead of going on a crash diet, try to cut down on food with high level of bad cholesterol. Be kind to yourself by taking it slow.

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3. Wrong motivation

Motivation is key when it comes to goal-getting. With the right push, nothing is impossible. But you have to be sure that you are making these changes for the right reasons, and not just because perhaps it is a Hollywood fad or because everyone else on your social media seems to be doing it. For the umpteenth time, do not succumb to peer pressure as it will do no good at all to your physical and mental health.

4. No dear-diary moment

It is important to keep track of your record so you can see that you are making real, tangible changes. Jot down all the positive things you have done that are in line with your resolutions as this is more likely to prompt you to continue pushing the envelope. So you started with 10 sets of burpees or a one-kilometre brisk walking? Great. Record it so you would want to challenge the previous achievements.

Simple but significant tips

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1. Act on it

You can browse through millions of articles on the know-hows of effectively keeping up with your new year’s resolutions but it will be to no avail if you do not immediately act on it. The first step begins with you. It may even start as soon as you ditch your couch for a 15-minute walk around the house.

2. Change your perspective

It is impossible to enjoy a good workout, for instance, if you have always seen it as a chore. Instead, try to have fun while you are at it. Incorporate other elements that will you feel better such as having your favorite tunes in the background while you use the treadmill or even treating yourself to a nice bowl of gelato as a reward afterwards.

3. Formulate a system that works for you

While a handful of people may claim that they actually lose weight fast by going on a crash diet, it is vital to remember that every human body works differently especially with varied factors like metabolism rate or other existing medical conditions. Have your own little experiment with your meal plans to see what would be the perfect one for you. Of course, it is advisable to consult a dietitian and nutritionist.

What you can actually do

1. Get a new hobby

This would be the best time to pick up an activity that you have been wanting to try for a long time. Go for that dodgeball game with the kids from your neighbourhood, sign up for that spin cycle class that looked really fun on Instagram, or even attend that vegan cooking workshop at the eatery down the streets.

2. Try group activities

Workouts especially are always more fun when done as a collective. You will actually feel better because you will have others who understand the same struggle you are going through. Apart from using the time to bond with existing friends or to make new ones, it is less likely for you to bail on an exercise when you have a strong support system to constantly give you the boost you need.

3. Be tech-savvy

With so many free health applications available, it would be great to finally utilise them. If you plan to eat better, get an application that keeps track of your daily calorie intake. If you wish to start running to build your stamina, record your runs on applications that track the duration. The best part is you can even sync some applications to cover every aspect of your changes.

4. Post on social media

Take your virtual friends on your journey towards better health by posting about it on your social media accounts. Create a new, fun, personalised hashtags so you can keep up and look back on your achievements. Apart from for personal reasons, you might just inspire more people to hop on the healthy bandwagon.

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