Based in Leeds, but exploring Berlin for the next two months.
Published December 30th 2012
Get back to reality this new year
New Year is approaching, Here are some more realistic lifestyle changes, and these don't have to be confined to the new year alone, nor are they extreme solutions to your lifestyle worries. You can make these changes anytime, and at your own pace.
Kicking The Habit
Stopping smoking may be one of the most obvious choices, but really, this is something you should prioritise when it comes to sensible resolutions. There really is no easy road, so the best place to start is professional advice and assistance. The NHS offer a free service to help you on your way to kicking the habit, advice from a medical perspective will be more beneficial and result in greater success than going at it alone.
Think Sensibly About Your Diet
Avoid crash diets like the plague! Instead, really assess your weekly diet and what could be improved upon. The best way to do this is keep a food diary for one week, then picking out the areas you should improve upon. This doesn't mean being too strict upon yourself, just developing a more healthy relationship with food. For instance: cut down the scores of chocolate bars you get through a week to two squares of good-quality dark chocolate (Lindt Excellence is my weakness) a day. This small portion will keep your cravings satisfied and stop you over-indulging.
If you're somebody who frequently opts for ready meals and takeaways, try cooking your own meals. They don't have to be complicated or expensive, just simple and healthy. Making your own versions of your favourite takeaway treats will be much healthier, too. You can find plenty of recipes online for delicious meals.
Making your own food from scratch is more fun, and much healthier.
Make slow and steady changes, don't rush into buying an expensive gym membership. Walk the dog for an extra 15 minutes each day, take up gardening, or go for a gentle swim at the local leisure centre once a week. For great ideas on how to make these simple changes, Change4Life is an organisation focused on helping the British public become more active.
Very Important: Willpower is vital when making these positive lifestyle changes. Try not to focus on how many pounds you want to drop, or how exercise and smoking cessation will benefit your physical appearance, but how you want to feel in yourself. You'll feel far better with the knowledge that you're well on the way to a healthier, happier (and longer) life, than staring at the jeans you desperately want to fit into.
Also remember that your willpower and determination are incredibly powerful tools, with them, you can achieve anything.