We’re sure you’ve seen that terrifying infographic detailing the large calorie content we’ve been scarfing down at all of the Chinese New Year open houses. If not, here it is. Go on, take a look.
Yes. We know. It’s pretty bone-chilling. So now that we’ve completely destroyed our diet plans with all that kuih kapit, pineapple tarts, and prawn rolls, there’s no better time to revisit our enthusiastically-made new year’s resolutions pre-CNY.
As your personal cheerleader, we’ve come up with 10 tips to help you (and ourselves) get to the finish line:
1. Keep starting again
Just because you’ve stopped hitting the gym for a few days does not mean you’re a failure. The (not so big) secret is to just keep jumping back in again. Eating a greasy burger at lunch is not a reason ditch your healthy meal plans forever, it just means you should go back to it at dinner. Every new day is a great time to try again.
2. Place a Bet
Websites like stickK and Pact (http://www.gym-pact.com/) allow you to place a bet on whether you’ll stick to your resolutions and achieve your goals. We find that when a significant enough sum of money comes into the picture, we’re strangely a lot more motivated! You can also do it old school and place a wager with a mate.
3. Make it Clear
Vague goals like ‘lose weight’ are a recipe for failure as you usually have no idea how to get there. How much weight do you lose? How much time do you have? What do you have to change? Specific steps like meal plans, weekly weight to lose, and timelines help to make this a more attainable and measurable goal.
4. Be realistic
Going crazy at the gym when you haven’t been working out in a year will ultimately result in a burnout. Take baby steps. If better stamina is what you’re after, do something active for 30 minutes, three times a week first. It can be something as easy as taking a long walk a day (in the mall if you’re afraid of the heat). Gradually increase the duration and frequency and before you know it, you’re a full-fledged gym rat.
5. Shout it out
Share your resolutions online, on Facebook, on your blog, on Instagram, whatever. Once it’s out there, you’re accountable. Plus if you post your journey along the way, you are bound to get some encouraging words from your family and friends.
6. Find a buddy
A naggy friend always helps the process. Search for someone with similar goals and set about achieving them together. A gym buddy, a smoker friend who also wants to quit, a girlfriend who wants to cut back on the sweets. Everything’s better with a friend.
7. Remind yourself
Place reminders in places you normally spend time – your phone, your desk at work, your bathroom mirror, or your girlfriend’s face. It can be anything from an inspirational quote to a spanking hot picture of the body you’re aiming for. These visual reminders help keep you focused on your end goal.
8. Make it fun
Whatever your fitness or health goal is, it is a long journey. And you definitely don’t want to be miserable and mopey all the time. If you’ve resolved to eat healthy, a quick Google search will come up with many pretty, and delicious healthy recipes that you can have fun experimenting with. If getting fit is your goal, choose an activity that you will actually enjoy. If running’s not your thing, you can go for dance classes, a hike, a swim, or stuff your tablet full of your favourite TV show and watch it while on the elliptical. The possibilities are endless.
9. Make it manageable
If you’ve always been binging on nasi lemak, pisang goreng and a host of other hawker goodies for breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner, then going cold turkey would probably just ignite an even larger binge when you backslide. Fulfilling your resolutions should be fun, so don’t starve yourself of your favourite foods. Instead, keep your eye on the pie (or goal), and when you can, go for healthier options. Rather than stuffing yourself with a whole bowl of white rice, half a bowl should suffice and fill up on vegetables instead.
10. Make time for it
Nobody is too busy. Make time for achieving your goals in your daily routine and never create excuses to opt out. If you have to do 30 minutes of walking a day, set it into your schedule and plan around it. If you can plan things around your job and your kids, you can plan things around your 30-minute walk. If making home-cooked meals is too time consuming during the week, set aside a couple of hours during the weekends to prepare some freezer-friendly meals to reheat during the weekdays.
It’s going to be hard in the beginning, but if you keep on going, you’re already halfway to the finish line. For the HealthWorks team, we’re going to make this fun and manageable. Half the rice, double the veggies, and 10 jumping jacks every morning!
Written by: The HealthWorks Team