As the year ends, it’s time that we review our past events. From our social failings to our outstanding work achievements, we must look back and evaluate our accomplishments, our setbacks, our goals and our dreams.
Almost all of us started the year 2017 with the intention of embarking on a healthier and more active lifestyle. We said that we will stop chocolates and sugar, we will workout at the gym everyday, we will lose the extra 5kgs, we will get enough sleep, we will stop smoking … we will … we will … we will … But then? We didn’t.
Why? Life happened. Or so we tell ourselves.
Changing a lifestyle requires enormous commitment and dedication. You are pushing a boulder up a mountain and there are many hurdles you must overcome.
First, old habits die hard. To change an unhealthy habit, you need to understand the underlying cause. For example, some people eat sugar when they are feeling low or unhappy. This is because processed sugar releases endorphins that can temporarily boost your mood and simulate the effect of a chemical “high”. Unfortunately, like drugs the spikes are followed by drops and hence the cycle continues. You need to review your sugar craving pattern and identify the underlying cause. No one says you need to do it alone, but diagnosing the real problem is the 1st step to breaking an undesirable habit.
Second, we don’t live in a vacuum. You return from work to find your family members gathered around the television watching the latest episode of Suits while munching on a gigantic bowl of popcorn. You are not going to miss this for an hour at the gym! You need to surround yourself with people who have the same healthier lifestyle aim. Either get your family and friends involved on your program or your colleagues at work. Many health insurance companies in the UAE have lifestyle and fitness programs. Check with your HR Department if you have access to wellness benefits. It is often the case that you are entitled to wellness benefits but were not made aware.
Third, we don’t have all the facts. Almost all of us are guilty of setting up health goals without having assessed the situation in full. Before you service a car, you need to do a full check-up. Our bodies are the biomechanical vehicles we inhabit. Before we set-out to improve its performance, we need to check its inner workings. Invest in a comprehensive Check-Up at the beginning of the year. Find out if your thyroid is underperforming because it maybe the reason you are unable to lose weight. Or perhaps you have a Vitamin D deficiency which may explain the continuous fatigue and lack of motivation at work!
Finally, we set-up unrealistic goals. Let’s be honest, are your really going to jog everyday for 45mins around Za'beel Park during the summer months? With temperatures of 46°C? The Ancient Greeks said it long time ago: “Know Thyself”. You know best your own routine and commitment levels. Whilst we are often surprised by how much we can push ourselves, we also know our limits. Choose one or 2 health and lifestyle goals and work with a coach or an expert to attain them. Don’t rout your New Year’s resolution plan with unattainable goals. It deserves a fair year’s chance!
Happy New Year!