Are your health goals al­ready drift­ing?

Upper Hutt Leader - - CONVERSATIONS -

Q: Af­ter mak­ing grandiose goals formy health this year, I am al­ready find­ing it hard to stick withmy new health and well­ness habits. I tend to be a bit all or noth­ing. How can I get more willpower? Thanks, Felic­ity

Most of the time, it’s not a lack of education that stops peo­ple from do­ing the things they should to look af­ter them­selves. We all know that work­ing 14-hour days, drink­ing too much cof­fee and not eat­ing enough veg­eta­bles is not go­ing to re­sult in our health­i­est self, but of­ten times we do it any­way.

The re­al­ity is, if you try to change ev­ery­thing at once, you’re far more likely to give ev­ery­thing up as too hard.

For ex­am­ple, if you know that you’re some­one who needs to stop drink­ing so much cof­fee, cut back one at a time be­fore switch­ing to green tea for a pe­riod of time. Look for easy, more nour­ish­ing foods to swap in for those that are less nour­ish­ing. Set your­self a chal­lenge to be in bed at 10pm at


least two nights a week and then work your way up to five.

If you want to cut down your screen time, chal­lenge your­self to have a dig­i­tal detox evening one night a week and then try for an­other. If you go out for din­ner look for a res­tau­rant that of­fers more nour­ish­ing food choices if you can. And do the things you know you need to do one at a time.

Per­haps set up a sched­ule (if that’s some­thing that works for you) where ev­ery week (or two, or ev­ery month) you add an­other well­ness prac­tice to your daily rou­tine so that by the end of the year, you’ve made a num­ber of changes that will rad­i­cally change the way you look af­ter your­self.

And also re­mem­ber, it’s what you do the ma­jor­ity of the time that af­fects your health, not some of the time so be gen­tle with your­self for those oc­ca­sional not as nour­ish­ing choices.

It’s com­mon to view health and well­ness changes as black and white, but this is of­ten what causes peo­ple to fall off the wagon – they’re all in or they’re well and truly all out! But real life hap­pens in the grey. It is daily habits and choices that will get you closer to your health and well­ness goals, not hav­ing more ‘‘willpower’’ – there is no wagon to ac­tu­ally fall off.

TIP TO GET STARTED If nour­ish­ing your­self with whole food is a chal­lenge:

Make your­self a green smoothie at the be­gin­ning of the day to take to work. Fill it with loads of leafy greens and top it up with a scoop of pow­dered veg­eta­bles for an ad­di­tional boost.

If you know you drink too much al­co­hol:

Start with two al­co­hol-free days a week. Next time you go to an event where free

Ask Dr Libby

Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­ Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered. al­co­hol is on of­fer, chal­lenge your­self to opt for sparkling wa­ter in­stead. Re­mem­ber that just be­cause some­thing is there doesn’t mean you have to con­sume it!

If you’re a worka­holic:

Some­times we have dead­lines that mean we have to work ad­di­tional hours, other times it’s our own per­cep­tion of ur­gency that drives us to work 14-hour days that im­pact on our sleep cy­cle and en­joy­ment of life. Check what this means for you.

Dr Libby is a nu­tri­tional bio­chemist, best-sell­ing au­thor and speaker. The ad­vice con­tained in this col­umn is not in­tended to be a sub­sti­tute for di­rect, per­son­alised ad­vice from a health pro­fes­sional. Visit dr­


Start mak­ing small changes to reach your goal.

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