New Year's resolutions. We begin them with the best intentions and we really do try, but they all too often fail. This year use our resolutions swapper to set targets you can actually achieve!
How many New Year’s eve resolutions have there been now… tens, twenties, hundreds even, that have ended up down the pan by the end of January?! Coming up with New Year’s resolution ideas can be tricky, but the trickiest bit, as we all know, is of course actually sticking to them.
And whilst we all start the year with the best intentions of eating healthily, losing weight, cutting down on alcohol, chocolate and snacks (basically all the good things in life) in the hope of diet success, it usually proves just too hard to maintain.
That’s why this year, we’re getting real. We’ve had our thinking caps on and come up some New Year’s resolution ideas that we reckon you’ll actually stick to. Our gallery has all the usual resolutions we set every year, and then offers you a ‘swap’ resolution – an alternative that will be far more manageable for you and your lifestyle. And still give you the results you’re after!
So have some fun with our resolutions swapper and make sure the changes you want to make this New Year are here to stay!
What resolutions have you set yourself for 2014? Let us know in our comments section below.
To go from doing no exercise to a run every day can seem quite drastic and is in danger of putting you off before you’ve even started! Really think about what it is you mean by wanting to get fit. Likelihood is you’re not going to have time to get abs like Jessica Ennis over the next 12 months. But if you’d like to spend more time exercising, decide in exactly what way this will be achievable for you.
Swap it for: always taking the stairs instead of the lift. Or walking to collect the kids from school instead of driving. You’ll find you’re able to do an extra 30 mins of exercise a day, without even having to try too hard!
Oh carbs. How we loathe loving you. We can’t count the number of celeb weight loss stories that award their success to cutting out carbs, but we’re guessing as soon as they start eating them again (and let’s face it, who couldn’t?!) the pounds will be piling back on….
Swap it for: picking just one that you want to cut out, like bread, and fill up on healthier carbs that contain wholegrains (ok so this picture probably isn’t helping…).
It would be great if by this time next year we were at our dream weight, but is your dream weight actually realistic for you? Unfortunately some of us just aren’t meant to be a size 8, but perhaps you could aim more realistically.
Swap it for: aiming to drop a dress size instead. It’s not a huge target but will still take work. If you acheive it you’ll be over the moon, rather than dissapointed when you can only pull your dream jeans up to your knees…
We never mean this phrase as much as we do just after Christmas, after eating our way through several packets of mince pies, more than enough Christmas dinner, and a few too many of the ‘spare’ gold coins you bought for the kids. But just telling yourself to lose weight can feel really overwhelming, so set a more achievable goal!
Swap it for: aiming to get back into one item of clothing you’d really love to look good in again.
Which is all well and good until takeaway night comes around and your hubby’s itching for an Indian… Telling yourself you’re going to eat healthily all day every day can be unrealistic if, like us, you’re used to your treats!
Swap it for: growing your own veg. It could just be the one tomato plant or a few runner beans, but it’ll be fun and mean you get some homegrown, organic produce on the dinner table. And the kids can learn about where our food comes from!
Ahh snacks. Whether it’s a bag of doritos and dip, a naughty chocolate bar or some cheeky cheese and biscuits, we’ve all got our weakness. After all, a night in front of the tv isn’t complete without your favourite snacks at hand!
Swap it for: clearing out your cupboards of all the snacks you want to eat less of. You might still have the odd one when you’re out and about, but not having the temptation sitting within easy reach at home will considerably cut the amount you eat. You could donate them to a local food bank which will help the community too.
There’s really nothing more inviting than the smell of warm bread. And if, like us, you’re a sucker for the stuff, you might be thinking of giving it up in the New Year. But bread isn’t all bad, in fact brown bread has some really great health benefits…
Swap it for: switching to brown bread instead. It’s full of fibre, complex carbohydrates, low in saturated fat and much more diet friendly than a white loaf.
Eating a healthy breakfast is so important – it gives us the energy we need to start the day -so you’ll want to make it count. If you’re trying to only eat fruit in the mornings remember that having a hearty breakfast doesn’t necessarily mean that it becomes unhealthy. Fruit is so good for you but it’s not much for your body to run off right up until lunch.
Swap it for: fruit on cereal or yogurt. You don’t want to find yourself starving hungry by 10 o’clock every day next year. Instead, have fruit on your weetabix or with some natural yogurt. Oh and make sure you get a banana in there, they’re great for releasing energy slowly and keeping you alert.
Carbs get a bad rep. Whilst we all know that cutting them out can help with weight loss, like on the Atkins Diet, let’s remind ourselves of all the good things that carbs do for us. They boost your mood, they give you energy (which you can’t really get enough of when you’re running around looking after the kids!), and they protect from some diseases like heart related problems and type 2 diabetes.
Swap it for: eating wholegrain carbs. Wholegrain bread, rice and pastas hold many more fibre and nutrients than refined grains.
Salads are all very well, and sometimes even really nice! But you really need to make sure you get a good serving of protein and a side of carbs to see you through the rest of your day. Don’t shy away from carbs – there are lots of things you can have with your salad which will give you some more energy without piling on the kcals.
Swap it for: salad topped Ryvita or wheat crackers, or salad in a pita. Don’t forget the healthy chicken or tuna for a protein hit too!
How many times have we said we’re going to cut out alcohol completely, for a month, a week even, and not made it past the first weekend? That glass of wine to unwind with in the evening or gin and tonics on a night out with friends can be just too difficult to say no to.
People seem to think that getting up early to exercise makes you ‘better’ somehow, more committed or well disciplined. But exercising in the morning just might not be feasible for you. Exercising at another time of the day is just as rewarding and you might find you have more time to commit.
Swap it for: exercising at a time that suits you. Don’t think you have to get going early. You could do it at lunch time, or in the early evening. Plenty of people find the gym nicer in the evenings when the after-work rush has calmed down and it’s quietened down.
We dread to think of the thousands of people who sign on the dotted line for a gym membership at the start of the year and then slowly hide away from it until their contract shamefully comes to an end. Gyms are expensive and while they might be worth the money if you go regularly and stick to it, some of us just aren’t destined to be gym bunnies!
Swap it for: finding out if you’re committed to doing the exercise first. Buy a good fitness DVD, see if you can stick to doing it as many times a week that you aim to go to the gym. If you can, great! Sign yourself up.
Giving up chocolate completely may be a little drastic. In fact we can’t quite imagine a life without the stuff? And if you’ve been good and stuck to your diet, then why can’t you have the occasional bit of choccie?
Swap it for: treating yourself to a healthier piece of dark chocolate instead. Blood pressure lowering, blood sugar controlling and antioxidant packed, it’s a much healthier alternative to other chocolate!
We all know that drinking lots of water is really good for us, but with the recommended daily intake set at 2 litres it can seem like an awful lot of water to be downing daily! Rather than setting yourself the unrealistic target of drinking loads of water first thing in the morning, spread it out over the day. 2 litres is 8 200ml glasses, which is a lot more manageable spread out over the course of a whole day.
There’s no getting away from this one: junk food and a healthy diet just do not go together! No matter how good you’ve been all week, indulging in that Friday night takeaway can really set you back and undo all of your hard work. Giving up our treats altogether is all too drastic though, so what’s the solution?
Don’t we all! Having those photos of your younger/slimmer/fitter self may seem like a good exercise in diet inspiration, but unfortunately without a time machine this just isn’t going to happen. Boo.
Swap it for: realising you look good at your age now! Buy yourself a new dress, and show yourself off. Remember that whilst you may long to look like you did in your 20s, you probably still had all the insecurities that come with being young. Now you’re older and wiser you should feel more at peace with yourself. And there’s nothing sexier than a confident woman!