New Year, new you?

New year, new you
Photo courtesy of RGB Stock Images

If we had £1 for every time we heard the phrase ‘New Year new me’ in January, most of us would be really rich by now. Once the overindulgence of Christmas is over, January is usually a month of serious regret as people vow to change the bad habits that they only developed the month before. How many people do you know whose New Year’s Resolution was to go on a detox, join a gym, eat more healthily or cut out alcohol all together and do ‘dry January’? We’re betting it’s more than one.

Now that January is out of the way though (isn’t it just the longest month ever?) many of us will be reflecting on how successful our first month of resolutions was. Those who vowed to only eat salad from now until their summer holiday might already have fallen at the first hurdle. The people who paid an expensive gym membership might be regretting it already.

Inevitably, trying to drastically change your life (and mentality) overnight and depriving yourself altogether of the things you enjoy will never work out. The key is to look to change your lifestyle in the long run, rather than turn to quick-fix measures in order to lose weight or get fit by a given deadline.

Making sensible choices is key, but remember not to be too hard on yourself, if you want to be confident about your body you need to be confident in yourself too. Have a break every once in a while to do something you enjoy- whether that’s sitting down to indulge in a huge Sunday roast with your family or going out for cocktails with friends. Everyone needs to give themselves time to unwind.

Make sure that the changes you make are sustainable and realistic- no extreme detoxes, diets or exercise regimes that you won’t be able to keep up throughout the year. We’ve made a few suggestions below as to what these changes could be but, as always, if you have any of your own proven tips and tricks, we’d love to chat about them over on Facebook and Twitter!

Small changes make big differences

Do you really need that teaspoon of sugar in your tea? Will your sandwich taste any different without butter? Could you swap that glass of wine at dinner for a glass of water?

These are the questions you need to be asking in order to make noticeable changes to your health and lifestyle. It may not seem like much initially, but think of all the calories you’ll save yourself over time.

There are around 16 calories in a teaspoon of sugar. If you have three cups of tea per day (and most of us have way more) that’s 48 calories per day and 336 in a week! You might not think sugarless tea tastes as good, but you’ll soon get used to it, and saving calories wherever you can will make a huge difference in the long run!

Get outdoors

Think about how you can incorporate more time outside into your daily routine. Ditch the car on your way to work and consider walking to the bus stop or train station if they’re close by. Get outside for a stroll on your lunch break, or suggest a walk around the local park with your friends instead of meeting up for coffee on the weekend.

A bit of fresh air will do you good, and walking instead of sitting in a car or on a bus will energise you and wake you up- especially first thing in the morning when you just want to crawl back into bed!

Try a new hobby

Sometimes boredom can lead to bad habits, like snacking or those long accidental afternoon naps we all find ourselves waking up from every now and again.

Make this year your year to beat the boredom. Instead of getting into a routine – like coming in from work and curling up in front of the TV – do something you’ve always wanted to. Join a night school class to learn a language, teach yourself to knit or sew, use the time to plan and batch-cook healthier meals. Give yourself a goal, it could be to pass an exam or learn how to make a certain piece of clothing by the end of the year, and stick to it. When you achieve your aim at the end of the year, your sense of pride and fulfillment will spur you on to achieve more.

Make sure any changes that you make to your life this year are positive changes. If you want to lose weight, do it slowly and gradually rather than quickly and unhealthily. See exercise as a way of enhancing your mood and wellbeing and do what you enjoy- whether that’s running, swimming or even dancing. If you actually want to do it instead of making it something you dread, you’ll find yourself looking forward to it and the endorphins it releases will help you to feel so much better in your body and mind too.

Body confidence is all about being happy. And you can’t be happy if you’re hungry and exhausted all the time. So, make this year a year to focus on a new happier you and you’ll feel better, more confident and healthier by this time next year. We promise.

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Jamie Bell is the managing director of Illuminated Mirrors. You can find Jamie on Google+; he also occasionally updates the Illuminated Mirrors Facebook page.

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