Simple tips for a healthier 2024
As we open the blank pages to a new year, how will you write your story in 2024?
If this is your year for positive change, the secret lies in making small, incremental adjustments woven consistently into your daily life. Here are some simple tips to help you stick to your new habits and make lasting improvements to your well-being.
Start small and specific
Instead of overwhelming yourself with grandiose resolutions, start with small, specific goals. Break down your overarching health objectives into manageable steps. This not only makes the journey less daunting but also increases the likelihood of success. For instance, rather than vowing to ‘lose weight,’ be specific. Set an achievable and sustainable goal of 0.5kg per week. That way, you’re less likely to be disheartened or disillusioned if you experience a small setback.
Build good habits
Consistency is the key to sustainable change. Rather than drastically overhauling your lifestyle, focus on building on the small, healthy habits you already have in your daily routine. This is what’s known as ‘habit stacking’. One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current daily habit and then ‘stack’ your new behaviour on top.
If you already go for a walk in the morning, why not walk for an additional ten minutes to easily increase your daily steps? If you enjoy a cup of tea each morning, why not enjoy it outside while writing down your thoughts and intentions for the day ahead? Habit stacking is a straightforward way to add to the healthy habits and lifestyle patterns you already follow – by linking them, you’ll be more likely to stick to the new behaviour.
Set realistic goals
Ensure that your resolutions are realistic and attainable. If you haven’t run regularly before, then a triathlon may be difficult and you’ll only set yourself up for disappointment. A half-marathon, though, may be an achievable goal if you’ve decided that 2024 is the year you’ll commit to running regularly.
Setting unattainable goals can lead to frustration and the abandonment of your efforts. Gradual progress is not only more achievable but also provides a sense of accomplishment that further fuels motivation.
Create a support system
Share your health goals with friends, family, or a support group. Having a support system can give you the encouragement you may need during challenging times and celebrate your successes. Knowing that others are cheering you on can be a powerful motivator. Better still, invite others to join you on your challenge to be fitter and healthier. Research has found that those who walk with others tend to work harder, plus there’s the sociable and community benefits to be gained too.
Don’t forget to take the time to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements along the way. Whether it’s reaching a fitness milestone, making healthier food choices, or practicing consistent self-care, recognising your progress reinforces positive behaviour and strengthens your commitment to your goal.
If you’ve decided to commit to a ‘Dry January,’ book yourself a massage with the money you save; if you commit to walking every day for a month, treat yourself to a pair of trainers to support your new fitness regime.
Research has found that people who receive immediate rewards on a frequent basis for completing small tasks or challenges, enjoy the task more than those who go without, or reward themselves after a longer period.
Adaptability is key
Sometimes, no matter how well or meticulously you’ve planned, life throws you a curveball. Deadlines, illness, even the weather, can all affect your commitment to your health and fitness goals. It’s important then, to be adaptable in your approach to your health, fitness, and wellbeing resolutions. If a particular strategy isn’t working, be open to adjusting your plan, or call in the experts for some help and guidance. Flexibility ensures that setbacks become opportunities for learning and growth, rather than roadblocks.
Integrate joyful practices
Living a healthy and content life shouldn’t be difficult or stressful. It’s important to incorporate elements of joy into your health journey. Engage in activities that bring you happiness and fulfillment. If you’re feeling stuck, think back to when you were a child. What did you love to do when you were younger? It may be painting, reading, group sports or cycling. Whatever allowed you to while away the hours without thinking may be where you can rediscover your joy. When your resolutions align with your passions and interests, they become more than just obligations—they become integral parts of a joyful and balanced lifestyle.
Remember, the secret to a healthier 2024 lies not in drastic changes but in the consistent, mindful integration of positive habits into your daily life.
From everyone at Eden Health Retreat, we wish you a fulfilling year of wellness, resilience, and fulfilment.
S. Hanson, A. Jones. Is there evidence that walking groups have health benefits? A systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2015