The pressure of festive indulgences and the resolutions we make to ourselves often end up in disappointment when we don’t achieve the goals we set at the beginning of January. The New Year resembles a magical time when we want to incorporate all the changes in our lives, such as a change in our lifestyle, to be healthier a little leaner and more active and perhaps a better work-life balance.
Taking control of our lifestyle, means we feel full of enthusiasm, breaking into a sweat, losing weight and then Sabotage! The dreaded doughnuts arrive in the office to celebrate a colleague’s Birthday. In fact, the office can be one of the worst places for weight loss sabotage. Even if you enjoy your job, you’re bound to get bored and tired, leading you to that mid-afternoon need for a pick-me-up.
Your job can also sabotage your new exercise routine, staying late to finish off a project means a Pilates class is missed or your early morning run has to be postponed due to a breakfast meeting. With all your good intentions in the first few weeks of the New Year, this now seems a lifetime away.
What can we do?
Getting into the habit of taking on a new exercise regime and eating well, takes practice, so does changing our mindset. Creating a habit also takes discipline. Studies show it takes approximately 66 days to make a habit an automatic one. We should in fact, focus on making small changes, eventually leading to bigger ones.
These incremental steps are our Personal, Planning, Plateau and Praise stages. These four stages can also be reflective in our working life when we have goals and targets to meet and new ventures to undertake.
Personal – Your goal is likely to be very personal to you and it may affect other people in either a positive or negative way. What we do affects those around us. When we’re aware of who our goals will affect, it can motivate us more to stay focused and take hold of opportunities. Ask for help. Tell your co-workers you need help losing weight and they may be happy to move the donuts elsewhere or stop bringing them entirely. Or plan a ‘biggest loser’ competition for the New Year to get everyone focused on a healthy lifestyle regime
Planning – Plan exercise and healthy eating regimes, one week at a time. Keep healthy snacks in your drawer. Fruit, instant soup, popcorn or oatmeal will satisfy your hunger and keep you away from the junk. Bring in healthy foods. Take fruit to meetings, pack your own lunch rather than relying on the canteen, or better still, ask for healthier options to be included on the menu such as tomato-based pasta dishes, plant-based meals, salads, jacket potatoes, and fruit. Stay active, by tracking your steps. It’s a lot easier to be active when you can keep track of how much you’re really moving. There’s a reason everyone is wearing activity trackers like Fitbit! Put one on your wrist and find out how many steps you do in a normal day, then set yourself a goal to improve on that number every day. Tracking your activity can be an excellent way to motivate yourself and keep you reminded of your goals. Try a standing desk. If it’s possible in your office, standing up to work can be a great choice. Standing uses more muscles and burns more calories than sitting – and it can be great for your back and posture. Walk instead of calling or emailing. Use every opportunity you have to get up from your desk. Pretend it’s the ‘90s – instead of emailing or instant-messaging your colleague across the room, walk over to their desk and have a chat with them face to face. The steps add up, and it gives you the extra benefit of having some social interaction. Get moving at lunchtime. First, it’s important to take your lunch break. Having a break during the day is beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing, and it’s also a good opportunity to get active. Instead of eating at your desk or sitting down in the kitchen area for your whole lunch break, make a point to get up and move for at least part of your allotted time. Again, get your co-workers involved and make it a challenge to be more active together.
Plateau – People get disheartened on their exercise and weight loss program because they don’t know about the ‘Plateau’ stage. This stage is very frustrating, but it is important to know, even though you are not seeing the numbers on the scales change, or the endurance of a workout is still at the same level, things are happening. During these plateaus, when it seems as if nothing is happening, the whole body is ‘catching up’ and waiting patiently for every other part of the body to readjust before going to the next level. Just don’t give up!
Praise – Many people under-appreciate the minor things they do successfully every day. And yet they can recall in detail all the times they have failed or made mistakes. That’s because the brain remembers events more easily when they are accompanied by strong emotions. Remember, people like to be around those who have a healthy self-esteem and who are achieving their goals. Commit to acknowledging your achievements and your brain will begin to tell you the truth: that you can do anything! Share goals with those who are willing to keep you accountable and even celebrate your wins with you.
In our working and personal life, we should take our journey one day at a time; Think of this new lifestyle as a consistent journey, not a destination.
The first of January is just a date on the calendar. Everyone has a chance for a fresh start every morning, or at any time of the day, we must remind ourselves of this whenever we feel as though we are wavering be it your personal life or your working life.
Kettering Park Hotel & Spa offers lifestyle and exercise consultations boasting a beautiful 13m pool, dance studio, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi plus a large fully equipped gym with air conditioning. Corporate wellness packages are available. Call Georgina on 01536 416666 or email email@example.com for further information.