Catherine Jeans | www.thefamilynutritionexpert.com
Do New Year Resolutions Actually Work? asks Norwich nutritional therapist Catherine Jeans?
There seems to be a rumbling debate on social media this year about whether New Year resolutions actually work. So I thought I’d give my perspective as a nutritional therapist who’s worked with more than 1000 clients desperate to change the way they eat, feel and live their lives. Are New Year Resolutions the right way to go?
Well I actually sit somewhere in the middle on this. I truly believe it’s a positive thing to examine the way we live our lives and the choices we make. But this doesn’t have to happen at New Year in an extreme and unrealistic way. Unfortunately, too many people set unrealistic (and often unhealthy) goals at this time of year without really thinking about how they are going to make those changes stick. And that’s my aim when I work with clients and do my own self-study – how can I make a healthy habit for life?
A lifetime of positive intentions
So how about we all ditch the New Year Resolutions, and opt for a lifetime of positive intentions and self-education instead? It doesn’t matter if you do this on January 1, but you could equally do it any day of any month. A bit of self-study on a regular basis is such a positive thing – not just exploring the career and financial goals we want to achieve. How about the adventures we want to have? The way we want to feel on a daily basis? What we want to do more of? Positive habits we want to achieve? By doing regular self-study, setting intentions and then reviewing them regularly, this is a great way to achieve positive and lifelong change.
Here are my top tips for setting positive intentions this New Year.
- Make your New Year intentions achievable and healthy. Ditch the extreme diets, and think about two to three healthy habits per month you can stick to. How about cutting your alcohol content by 50%, increasing your water intake and moving an extra 2000 steps a day. These are positive changes you can build on.
- Set some lifestyle and mindset goals. As a newly qualified yoga teacher, I’m spending more and more time talking to my clients about breathwork. It’s amazing how so many of us have dysfunctional breathing patterns, caused by a lifetime of stress. Just tuning into your breath on a daily basis is such a simple way to have a profound impact on your health. Try this when you wake up in the morning… close your eyes and just notice your breath. After a few breaths, focus on breathing in through your nose, inhaling for a count of four, holding for five and breathing out through nose or mouth for a count of six to eight. See if you can expand your belly on the in breath and allow it to deflate on the out breath. You can practise this several times per day – a simple intention that can really help you to manage your stress load.
- Add one more vegetable every day. So whether you decide to go vegan this January or simply clean up your diet a bit, we could all benefit from eating more vegetables. Vegetable eaters live longer, it’s been proven in so many research studies. So whether you are 100 per cent plant based or eat meat and fish, just include more vegetables. Every time you cook, think about how you can add more colour and vibrancy of veg. Grate some extra veg into your sauces or casseroles. Put some spinach with your scrambled egg. Snack on veg instead of biscuits. Just one more with each meal can really add up.