Dig deep for new year’s res­o­lu­tions that will re­ally stick.

Tim­ing counts and Jan­uary 1 is just one op­tion for a start date

Life & Style Weekend - - WELCOME // INSIDE TODAY - With Rowena Hardy

With 2016 draw­ing to a close, many of us are cel­e­brat­ing. It might be all the great things we have achieved or that have hap­pened over the past 12 months or the fact that we’ve sur­vived a ter­ri­ble year and are hop­ing for a bet­ter 2017.

What­ever we’re cel­e­brat­ing, it’s of­ten a time for re­flect­ing on all that’s hap­pened and how we have fared through it all. We may recog­nise that some things need to change and de­cide to set up some res­o­lu­tions for the year ahead.

But wait… how many of the res­o­lu­tions that you made last year (if you did) were achieved?

Ap­par­ently about 88% of peo­ple give up on their res­o­lu­tions by Jan­uary 17. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be mak­ing some pos­i­tive changes in our life that we feel are nec­es­sary but I sug­gest there are a few things to con­sider.

The first is tim­ing. While Jan­uary 1 may seem like the per­fect time of year to start there are prob­a­bly still many temp­ta­tions around to dis­tract us. Whether it’s the re­main­der of the Christ­mas treats, left over bot­tles of al­co­hol or we’re still on hol­i­day and mak­ing the most of it, there are likely to be many dis­trac­tions that threaten to de­rail us very quickly. Choose your tim­ing, what­ever fits best for you but be sure to choose a start­ing point and stick to it; it doesn’t even have to be Jan­uary.

The sec­ond is to con­sider the so­lu­tion you’re ap­ply­ing to your res­o­lu­tion. Take weight as an ex­am­ple, a com­mon choice af­ter any ex­cesses of the fes­tive sea­son. If your so­lu­tion is to re­duce your in­take, sub­sti­tute meals with shakes or fol­low one of myr­iad di­ets heav­ily pro­moted ev­ery new year, it’s not the an­swer; di­ets of­ten leave us crav­ing ev­ery­thing we can’t eat.

Car­ry­ing too much weight is of­ten a re­flec­tion of poor choices trig­gered by our emo­tional en­vi­ron­ment. How of­ten do you reach for a treat or com­fort food when feel­ing sad, tired, an­gry, bored or even happy? At that point we are less likely to be think­ing of nour­ish­ing our self and more about what tastes good at the time and sat­is­fies. In­stead we need to con­sider the un­der­ly­ing driver of that be­hav­iour; what’s trig­ger­ing the emo­tion that is caus­ing the be­hav­iour?

And it doesn’t just ap­ply to eat­ing, es­sen­tially it’s the same with any habit – whether drink­ing al­co­hol, over­do­ing the caf­feine, ex­haust­ing the body through ex­ces­sive ex­er­cise or keep­ing our­selves su­per busy. What is it we are avoid­ing or not want­ing to feel when we do that?

My sug­ges­tion? Make healthy and pos­i­tive changes by all means and, be­fore you do, be sure to choose your tim­ing and ex­plore what’s re­ally caus­ing the un­de­sir­able be­hav­iour be­cause that is what needs to be ad­dressed.

It’s your choice; will 2017 your hap­pi­est and health­i­est yet?

For now, Nick and I wish you a safe and har­mo­nious start to the new year.

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

It’s your choice: will 2017 be your hap­pi­est and health­i­est yet?

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