Getting the year off to a juicy start
It is that time of the year again, the beginning of a new year and more importantly the beginning of a new decade. Resolutions are made, goals are set, and plans are designed. We define the benchmarks for what we choose to call a successful year and begin to make plans to effectively see those goals achieved.
Amongst the most common goals that we see, are goals regarding health, fitness and eating habits; drink more water, visit the gym once a week, eat less carbs, take on a sport, etc. But we all know that what is more viable is the consistency and tenacity to our goals than setting new ones.
Research conducted in the United Kingdom shows that 43 percent of the respondents of the study do not even keep their resolutions up to a month. So how then do we bridge this gap and ensure that the targets set for 2020 are achieved and not that they are non-existent by 31st of January?
According to the experts, breaking your resolution down into small, manageable and trackable goals is the best way to stick to it. Professor Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, has a 10-point plan for sticking to your goals.
1. Only make one resolution.
2. Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to set your goal.
3. Don’t attempt previously failed resolutions.
4. Don’t base your goal on what everyone else is doing.
5. Break your goal into a series of time-based steps.
6. Tell your friends and family what you’re aiming for.
7. Regularly remind yourself of the benefits.
8. Give yourself small rewards for achieving each step.
9. Make your plans and progress concrete by writing them down.
10. Expect to have small setbacks, and don’t make these a reason to give up altogether.
Why you should have a healthy year
There is an Arabian Proverb that says, “He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything.” What then do we seek that supersedes all other desires and aspirations for the new year? Now the reason I ask this is not just because I am a nutritionist and yes, you know I have to be speaking about your health, but there are literally no goals that can be achieved without a healthy lifestyle.
So, if the 10-point plan is anything to go by, then the one goal we need to have posted on our walls is to focus on our health. Having this overarching goal may look too broad, but being healthy involves everything we set as individual targets, such as eating a balanced diet, drinking pure fruit juice, taking long walks, or using the stairs.
This one resolution requires that we are mentally committed to being healthy and we take on any activity that ensures our health. While we are looking for specific activities that we need to stay healthy in 2020, having a mind-set of being healthy ensures that we do not get disheartened when we miss a gym time, or eat a bar of chocolate.
The focus on health should be based on getting the right amount of nutrients every day. Various studies have confirmed the potential health impact of the bio actives found in 100 percent fruit juice. Typically, dietary guidelines recommend a vitamin and mineral intake preferably from fruit and vegetables as part of an overall balanced diet. 100 percent fruit juices have a high density of certain micronutrients and their consumption is associated with greater likelihood of adherence to dietary guidelines for vitamins and minerals.
Concerns that the natural sugar content may adversely affect diet quality or energy intake are unfounded. 100 percent fruit juices may be declared a “source” of key micronutrients, and some nutritional compounds in fruit juice have greater bioavailability than in the fresh fruits from which they are derived.
There is no doubt that we all want to have a better year than the last, but what we do this year is the recipe to ensure that we come out on top. Recent studies indicate that on average it takes approximately 66 days before a new habit becomes automatic. This means that by mid-March a focus on health will become a habit. Now that is a habit that is sure to set you up to achieving your dreams.
Olusola Malomo is clinical dietitian
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