Don’t give up on health goals

According to website more than 14 million Australians made a New Year’s resolution for 2024 but just as they are easy to make, they are even easier to break.

According to the results of a recent national survey, they found resolutions to set new goals for 2024 were most popular among younger generations, particularly millennials (83 per cent) and Gen Z (92 per cent), and among women (79 per cent).

Diet and exercise-related resolutions are by far the most common. The survey found more than one in three (39 per cent) pledged to adopt healthier eating habits, 36 per cent are motivated to improve their fitness, while 33 per cent are committed to losing weight.

Rest and leisure are other common themes. Almost 20 per cent said they will strive to sleep more and 10 per cent intend to have a better work-life balance this year. Eating healthier, improving fitness and losing weight were all top of the list of goals.

But how many people actually achieve those goals? Setting unrealistic targets is a recipe for failure and, unfortunately, most New Year’s resolutions are abandoned quite quickly.

Research has found that less than 10 per cent of people achieve their resolutions, and even best estimates put this figure at a dire 20 per cent. Other global research has even determined that those resolutions have usually been trashed within a fortnight of the last fireworks fizzling out in the New Year sky.

So this month, then, is a time to re-assess and re-establish more achievable goals. Be realistic and set achievable targets. Be specific. If you want to eat better, for example, perhaps the goal is to eat two pieces of fruit a day and once you achieve that consistently (one month is usually enough to form a habit) add another healthy target.

Look at long and short-range goals and record them against a calendar to help you keep on track.

If motivation to exercise is hard, review how you are exercising. Try to make it a fun activity rather than a chore. How and where you exercise can make a big difference, and change your activities to keep boredom from setting in.

Take it one step at a time. You can’t go from zero to hero straight away and you will have lapses but that doesn’t mean the end. The important thing is that you get back on track and keep looking forward.

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