Monday 19 February 2018

New year, new routine: Karl Henry's three simple tips for improving your lifestyle

As the party season winds down, Karl Henry has some advice for those looking to make a fresh start, and the most important part of all - there is no quick fix to overhauling your lifestyle

Karl Henry photographed for Weekend by Mark Nixon
Karl Henry photographed for Weekend by Mark Nixon
Karl Henry

Karl Henry

By now you have had your fill of food and alcohol, the thought of another night out is enough to send you to bed and you are actually looking forward to getting back into your routine, your regular structure.

It's also the time that you begin to think of what 2016 is going to bring for you, the resolutions you are going to make that will help you achieve your goals, on a personal level, a health level and also a work level.

It's also normally the time that weight loss becomes one of the key goals for so many. I think this comes from the sense of fullness that comes over the Christmas period, you feel heavy, lethargic and it is that point of change that is so important when you want to set goals.

You need to hit the point of no return, that point where you are willing, determined and focused enough to make the necessary changes needed.

Karl Henry
Karl Henry

In today's column, I wanted to bring you some simple tips to help you make the best resolutions, to make health goals that you will actually achieve, to ensure that you don't waste your money this year like so many others will do.

Before I give you those tips though, I have one caveat, one point to make that is essential but so often forgotten about. No matter how it is advertised, how it is promoted or who is promoting it, there is no EASY way to lose weight.

No tablet, tea, patch, machine or nutrient elimination will do it for you that is healthy or a long-term approach.

Every year I see so many people throwing away their hard-earned cash on all of these things and more, in the search for weight loss that doesn't require effort or change. Every year there will be some new approach, some new method that promises incredible results that seems so easy but, trust me, it won't last.

Please save your money, or if you are going to spend it, spend it wisely, with someone who will tell you the truth - that it will be hard, it will require changes to what you are eating, how you are cooking and more movement in your day.

You will be cranky, sore, and have days you want to give up, but with their support you will get through it and achieve the goals that you want to, that should be your very first resolution!

Now let's take a look at some tips to help you set proper resolutions you will achieve and keep up for the long term:

1. Make your goals around four weeks long

You might have a bigger overall target but try to keep your goals shorter, four weeks is an ideal time as it's just long enough to be challenging but long enough that you will stay focused along the way. If it's too long you're likely to fall off the wagon.

Don't tell anyone about your goals, just do it

The more people you tell, the more pressure you will feel and this pressure can become a negative influence. Why not just set your goal yourself, focus on it and if someone compliments you along the way then all and good.

2. Identify your reward early

One of the most important aspects of setting any goal is the reward afterwards. This helps to keep you focused, motivated and determined as you know if you hit that goal you will be getting that treat, simple yet effective.

Surround yourself with others trying to achieve a similar goal

Sometimes it can be so much easier if you surround yourself with likeminded people. This can be a training session, a run, lunch or even a social media group. You will be surprised just how much of a difference that it can make.

3. Pick an event

Events will create a fantastic finite goal to work towards, even on the days that you have the least motivation, as you know you have to turn up to something. It could be a run, a triathlon or something like a wedding or holiday.

These tips might seem simple,but you will be amazed just what a difference they can make.

Irish Independent

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